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Loke
NPC


Joined: 14 Jul 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Maybe you can clarify something for me as well, a Mentor spirit with Spirits of man +2dice, will those 2 dice add to the drain resistance as well, or just the summon/bind test?
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Loke wrote:
Maybe you can clarify something for me as well, a Mentor spirit with Spirits of man +2dice, will those 2 dice add to the drain resistance as well, or just the summon/bind test?


The SR4A rules are unclear on that point. Historically it was either-or. That is, you could choose to apply them to the summoning or the drain, not both. The SR4A version can be read to mean that they apply to the Summoning test only and not the Drain, but is not unambiguous on that point and I wouldn't care about an official clarification anyway.

In any case, the bonus applies separately to the Summoning and Binding, because they are different actions.

-Frank
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virgil
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I'm starting a Shadowrun campaign soon, with the following rules: Core Book, Street Magic, Augmentation, Arsenal, Ends of the Matrix. House rules include, with obvious ripping from Frank's earlier list...
  • Skills and Skill Groups at half BP cost
  • Karma replaced with BP
  • Contacts cost (Loyalty x Connections)cp, bought at 3cp per BP
  • No sustaining foci
Now, are there any good advice threads for designing adventures and/or character building w/at least basic optimization? What are things to keep in mind in terms of oft-unnoticed rules, builds/tricks to watch out for and may even need to be house-ruled if particularly egregious?

My girlfriend has decided to make a mage (only experience is 3.5 & After Sundown), but hasn't made any decisions past that. What advice would you give her, both in terms of what to avoid and what to seriously consider?

I know this thread has the general skill advice, and I found the list of 10 spells where even knowing one gets you hired for Shadowrunning, and the rest seems to be pointed at specific builds more than anything.
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kzt
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Joined: 03 May 2010
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you don't ban the mind control spells (and I do encourage banning them) she should take some and also stunbolt/ball. Take summoning. Don't take indirect combat magic at the start, nor banishing or ritual magic.

Last edited by kzt on Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:16 am; edited 1 time in total
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virgil
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Also, what differences should I be aware of between the Anniversary edition of Shadowrun and the standard 4th edition Shadowrun (only have the older of the two)? Most of the players I'll be getting are former 3rd edition SR, so it's technically an abstract question.
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Korgan0
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Probably the best way to go about things is to play an Elf, go for a Charisma-based tradition (Voodoo is fucking awesome and allows possession cheese to boot,) which allows you to both charm the shit out of everyone without magic, have mad utility via magic, and then own shit in combat with your hordes of bound spirits. If you need to go full nuke, just have a high-force guardian spirit possess you and wreak havoc while you fuck around on the Astral or whatever.

Otherwise, LOG-based mages can bring mad utility to the party in terms of medicine and every other LOG-based skill, while still having pretty good combat potential.

edit: confused logic and intuition whoops


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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sustaining focus bans are dumb and you shouldn't do them. If you're really unhappy with people dumping all their attributes and spending life as an invisible orangutan or whatever then you should talk to people about not doing that kind of thing instead of killing the christmas tree and by extension kicking Logic traditions right in the balls.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Yeah, the best thing you can be in terms of magic is an Elf with a charisma based possession tradition . .
You get a plus to one of your drain stats and at the same time to an astral combat attribute and the attribute that i think determines how many spirits you can hold and also allows you to shmooze stuff . .
and then you get a plus to the nonplusultra combat attribute agility as well . .
if you can get that one up high enough, you can default to more dice than most people will be regularly rolling.
and you get lowlight vision, which is nice enough too.
and no negative side to all of this aside from being a fairy boy dandelion eater and the cost in bp for playing an elf . .
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

For the record, "Dumb" was way too strong of a word to use in my last post and I regretted it almost immediately since I had one of those dumb moments when I remembered just how much I have houseruled things over the years. Relatively speaking, a sustaining focus ban is way elegant.

Anyway, elves are solid but a pinch overrated, especially if you're going with Frank's skill costs. They have definite advantages, but they pay a slight premium for their stats, and at half cost skills are actually competitive enough that you can get something decent for the pocket change you save by going with a cheaper race. Plus, while I hate to dump Charisma, I hate dumping Intuition even worse.


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virgil
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Interesting how the ban went from dumb to way elegant. Sick

How does shapechange work with cybernetics, especially the datajack?

Alrighty, the girlfriend has a little bit more of a narrowing for concept, but not much of one. She wants to be a wizard/magician first (seemed interested in the utility aspects, but she's very wiggle-room there), and a parkour stealth ninja second. Overall, not being a liability is her most important goal. I presume the ideal race is human in this instance, as the lower mental capacity on the orc will hinder magic while the elf's advantages are mitigated by the inefficient BP cost?
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kzt
Knight-Baron


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Improved Invisibility plus your F6 spirits concealment does a pretty good Ninja job on most people and hardware.
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Charisma Tradition + Elf = gravy train.

Orks can still be an Intuition Tradition easily, and the thing there is that your Body stat can be nuts, so you can also get a ton of armor dice on top of it, and then you just become super beefy. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At1BL8GyRSkJdEgtV2lNaE5pb25TYUo3endoaHppNGc#gid=0
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lokathor wrote:
Charisma Tradition + Elf = gravy train.

Orks can still be an Intuition Tradition easily, and the thing there is that your Body stat can be nuts, so you can also get a ton of armor dice on top of it, and then you just become super beefy. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0At1BL8GyRSkJdEgtV2lNaE5pb25TYUo3endoaHppNGc#gid=0


EDIT:
If using Ends Of The Matrix, Matrix Stealth is also a potential weak point. Astral Projecting though, and then just Summoning a spirit and sending it out to do your work when/if the rest of the team sets off the alarms, that's a possible options for some missions types.
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Korgan0
Duke


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you have a party hacker they can keep your matrix signature pretty stealthy, so that's not too big of a deal. If you're gonna go for an Ork Intution build, you can go with an Int-based possession tradition that has Guardian Spirits, possess yourself, grab a decent weapon, and go to town on absolutely everything with ItNW, ludicrous physical attributes, insane astral combat, and awesome spellcasting.
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virgil
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is it me or is there a possibly unnatural love for spirits going on here?
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phlapjackage
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Joined: 24 May 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Not sure it's that unnatural, as they tend to be one of the best, if not the best, resources available to PCs in SR4.

And c'mon, most of us probably grew up watching that dream sequence from Ghostbusters, scarred fixated us for life Smile


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Archmage
Knight-Baron


Joined: 16 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

virgil wrote:
Is it me or is there a possibly unnatural love for spirits going on here?

Spirits are how you snap the game in half. Seriously.
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Lokathor
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Korgan0 wrote:
If you have a party hacker they can keep your matrix signature pretty stealthy, so that's not too big of a deal. If you're gonna go for an Ork Intution build, you can go with an Int-based possession tradition that has Guardian Spirits, possess yourself, grab a decent weapon, and go to town on absolutely everything with ItNW, ludicrous physical attributes, insane astral combat, and awesome spellcasting.


Depends on group size and how many programs they'll need to be sustaining and such. Also, if self sufficiency is considered a priority it doesn't hurt to throw a few BP in the direction of hacking, particularly if you've got a Logic (and thus Exploit Programs) or Intuition (and thus Matrix Stealth) tradition.

virgil: Seriously, spirits man. Fucking spirits.

Street Magic, Pg102 wrote:
Possessing spirits cannot perceive or operate AR or direct neural or cybernetic interfaces, and do not benefit from implants, cyberware, or nanoware that would require active control (i.e.: a spirit can benefit from a vesselís bone lacing or eye replacement, but cannot activate vision enhancements or a datajack).


I don't even know how someone ever wrote this sentence seriously. Cybereyes are a cyberware, if you have cyber eyes then a spirit can't see once it possesses you.
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I was downtown the other night and there was security from the newly constructed tower walking around in the plaza. The back of their uniform shirt said "Security", like normal, except that the S in Security was a coiled up dragon with stripes, just like the S in the Shadowrun logo. I could not even fucking believe it.
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Whipstitch
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's not like you have to depend on high force bullet sponge shenanigans for Spirits to be crazy good either. Point for point, Summoning is the most versatile skill in the game if you take a decent spread of spirit types, and it goes a long way towards making up for the fact that Magicians are required to sink points into an extra attribute. Even if you do things like ban the summoning of spirits with force in excess of the summoner's magic attribute you still end up with a lot of handy tricks like the Movement, Concealment and Guard powers and if nothing else an extra set of hands on demand. I wouldn't sleep on how useful modest spirits can be as a combat distraction, either--having a willpower over 5 is both deeply unrewarding and stupidly expensive, with even the corebook Dragons standing pat at 8 Will. This makes Fear a pretty strong power given that it draws from two dice pool sources. So Force 3s can get a mook to run pretty reliably while Force 4 or 5s should be able to spook just about anyone. It's pretty handy given that SR4 isn't really a system in which you can just give up turns and expect to live very long.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

A possessing Spirit is still dual natured, so even if it can't use the Hosts Senses, it's astral Perception still works just fine. And because they are inherently magical, not like awakened Meat, they don't even get a negative Dice Pool Modifier for using astral Perception to do mundane Stuff . .

And i am not sure, but can't possession spirits possess people against their will?
If so, that's a pretty good way to say "fuck you" to anything on the enemy side that has no really good magical support . .
Inhabitation Spirits are inferior to Possession Spirits, true, but have one inhabitat an enemy weapon and simply make it missfire or not fire at all . .
Non living things don't get a resistance roll to magic, so if the spirit can go over the object resistance, then it is in.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Lokathor wrote:

Street Magic, Pg102 wrote:
Possessing spirits cannot perceive or operate AR or direct neural or cybernetic interfaces, and do not benefit from implants, cyberware, or nanoware that would require active control (i.e.: a spirit can benefit from a vesselís bone lacing or eye replacement, but cannot activate vision enhancements or a datajack).


I don't even know how someone ever wrote this sentence seriously. Cybereyes are a cyberware, if you have cyber eyes then a spirit can't see once it possesses you.


That sentence happened because I was in a running fight with Peter, where we both acknowledged that spirits were extremely powerful, but he refused to acknowledge that the fundamental reason they were so fucking powerful was because they have Stat and Skill equal to Force and they are summoned by rolling Stat + Skill against Force alone. So he scribbled a bunch of poorly thought out and incoherent nerfs onto the Possession Spirit rules after the draft left my desk and left the fundamental issue of Spirits having a a dicepool that was a multiple of what was probably the highest dicepool of the conjurer was left as-is.

I mean, I seriously don't even know what the Channeling Metamagic is supposed to do. Peter seemed to think that Possession traditions would be kept in check by GM dickery and that the Channeling Metamagic would pay for itself by getting the GM to fuck with you less. Or something. But to this day I cannot see the logic behind attempting to keep Possession traditions in line that way when Materialization traditions are already so fucking insane.

-Frank
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virgil
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So, are spirits something I have to worry about breaking the game? If so, are there reasonable things/rulings to prevent that from happening?
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Korgan0
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Frank's fix of having Spirit skill ranks be equal to half Force instead of just Force does a great deal to rein in the fuckers, but if you need to do some more you could ban the real offenders in terms of incredible spirit types (probably Man b/c Innate Spell and Task for Possession Traditions but I'm really not sure), flat-out ban Possession traditions, as there's a bunch of ricockulous cheese you can pull with them, or possibly lower the Force cap for summoned or bound spirits (heck maybe both) to Magic instead of half Magic.

edit: this isn't gonna balance spirits in the slightest, but Knight Errant and their ilk aren't gonna take to kindly to Shadowrunners summoning Force 12 spirits and fucking around with them willy-nilly, which is at the very least something.


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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

If you worry about magic IN GENERAL breaking the Game, remember:
Background Count IS EVERYWHERE.
It's perfectly reasonable to have BGC of 1 everywhere.
BGC2 is probably in most subway stations and BGC 3 in sorts arenas where concerts are held too . .
auschwitz is a BGC6 level, if i remember correctly, so even some BGC4 and MAYBE BGC5 is in extreme situations reasonable . .
This shuts down basically ANY magic though, not just Spirits.
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Rawbeard
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Do NOT ban anything unless there is valid concern that a player is going to abuse it. Magic can be incredibly destructive for the game, but only in the hands of someone who knows what he is doing. Give a Voodoo shaman to some guy that just wants to play a mage and he will go "wait, I can only have one spirit at a time and that thing has to possess ME? Oh hell naw!" instead of "wait, I can have an army of indestrucible murdermachines? Oh hell yes!".

Reducing spirit skills to one half force is a good bandaid for high powered spirits and will only barely affect weak ass spirits who can't do shit anyway. Try it out, see what your mage does and if she goes for full power use that fix. If she bums around with force 2 gimps just let them have full force skills and keep the banhammer ready if things go south ("with edge I should be able to summon and bind force 12! Yeah haw!").

Background Count if everywhere, but again, use this only if the mage gets out of hand. Having at least -1 Magic all the time makes you feel stupid. On the other hand it can be a nice storytelling device ("something bad happend here/is happening here") so... There is also a spell, Mana Static me thinks, that lets you create temporary Background Count. Something to consider when upgrading the opposition. It shuts down mages and spirits real good. Or maybe it shuts itself down too and has no effect.

Yay Magic!

Bottom line: you have to have an understanding of magic in the rules AND the world itself. How does magic security work, all that shit and similar to the Matrix this shit only really affects one or maybe two characters. And even to then none of it might matter in actual gameplay. Have fun with that!

Also remember the worst horror scenarios you will be warned about only can really be pulled of by the crazies that post here and warn you about it. I believe that is a good thing, somehow.
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Last edited by Rawbeard on Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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