Author Topic: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy  (Read 335 times)

belaran

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Hi all,

According to the rule, when one cast a Heal based spell (like Heal) on a low essence character, a penalty, matching the essence loss, should be applied:

"In game terms, this means you take a dice pool modifier equal to the targetís actual Essence minus his maximum Essence (which will turn out to be 0 or a negative number), rounded up."

How those that translate for potion (alchemical preparation) ? Can someone makes, in Shadowrun, a good old fashion "heal potion", which then get absorb by the group, heavily augmented street sam ?

Jack_Spade

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #1 on: (06:58:36/07-15-17) »
Just reduce the dicepool of the preparation accordingly.  ;)
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Mirikon

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #2 on: (10:20:11/07-16-17) »
Just remember that health preparations are command only, so drinking a 'potion' would do nothing, except ruin the preparation by spreading it all over the place. The maker would need to use an action to set the preparation off.

Otherwise, yes, just reduce the dicepool used to do the active healing accordingly.
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belaran

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #3 on: (10:32:35/07-17-17) »
OK, maybe I misread / misremember the rules, but I though you made the test to create the potion *before* using it, like when you prepare it. But you are telling me, that, in this case, the Alchemy test happens when the user actually uses the potion...

Jack_Spade

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #4 on: (10:51:01/07-17-17) »
Nope, you have a test to make the preparation and based on that you get a dicepool that you have to roll again to get your preparations result in action (which is why alchemy is somewhat less effective than using spells directly)
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belaran

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #5 on: (11:20:22/07-17-17) »
Oh, gosh I never understood that correctly. Thanks !

Mirikon

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #6 on: (12:56:14/07-17-17) »
Nope, you have a test to make the preparation and based on that you get a dicepool that you have to roll again to get your preparations result in action (which is why alchemy is somewhat less effective than using spells directly)
Depends on what you use the spells for. One of the biggest benefits of alchemy is that you 'pre-soak' the Drain, so you don't get bushwacked during combat. It also works wonders for unopposed, sustained spells, and AoE combat spells. Let me give you some examples:

Heal - Remember that normally you have to sustain the Heal spell until the effects become permanent, taking that -2 all the while. Since a preparation sustains itself, you can distribute talismans to your crew, and set them off if you need to, healing at range and not needing to worry about sustaining penalties while under fire. Less efficient than directly casting the spell, but the benefits in being able to heal the samurai from under cover, rather than going up to touch range (and passing under fire the whole time) and then having to sustain the spell multiple combat turns (not passes) to make it stick... well, that's fairly obvious, isn't it?

Increase Reflexes - This works especially well for street-level runners, or for the mage himself in higher level teams. An Increase Reflexes preparation sustains itself for a short duration, almost like taking combat stims, but without the whole addiction thing. And, again, you don't need to sustain it. Being able to give initiative boosters to a whole street-level team during combat, without stacking -2 penalties? It is a beautiful thing.

Armor/Astral Armor - Honestly, if I have to explain why having extra armor on command is a good thing, then you really don't need to be reading this post. The fact that you can get it without sustaining penalties is a good thing.

Chaotic World/Mass Agony/Opium Den - Really, any of the AoE illusion spells. These spells pump a flat -1 per hit on everyone in the area for the duration. Not needing to sustain them makes these things really good for ambushes, or essentially debuff grenades. Sure, you might only get a -2 to -4 penalty, but that's two to four dice that aren't going towards their attacks, or their spellcasting rolls, or their hacking attempts, or their... you get the idea. Moreover, 2 to 4 is potentially enough to take low to mid Willpower enemies out of the fight entirely during the duration. Especially if you combine with anything that saps Willpower, or (if your GM is generous) layering multiple effects of different spells together (Mass Agony and Opium Den going off in the same area, for instance).

Ice Sheet - Also, other spells like this one that provide AoE battlefield control. Even though the spell doesn't need to be sustained, it does not suffer from having a smaller dice pool, since you really only need 2-3 hits to have a major impact if you choose a good choke point to use it on. The benefit here is the lack of having to deal with drain in combat.

Fireball - Also, all AoE combat spells. Explosions on demand, that don't register on chem sniffers. Great for sabotage, distractions, ambushes, or terrorism (sneaking a talisman into a target vehicle is a lot easier than sneaking a bomb into one). And, depending on the type of trigger used, you can be safely very far away, preferably in front of other people who would serve as alibis, when your handiwork goes off.

Physical Barrier - A barrier thrown up by a preparation won't stand up to much punishment, but it will do so until it runs out, no matter what you might be doing. Besides the obvious part about blocking hallways and stairwells to discourage pursuit, it works very well at keeping people out of rooms, especially when the door swings inward. Place it inside, and anyone trying to get in has to blast through both the door (or surrounding wall) and THEN the barrier.



I could go on, but that's enough hints for now, yes?

Yes, you can do any and all of that with spells, but you'll be facing mounting -2 sustaining penalties, having to roll against Drain multiple times while in combat, and so on. It is a different playstyle from the typical SR mage, but if you know how to work it, it can be devastating. Just make sure to have a weapon skill instead of just relying on Flamethrower for all your killing needs.

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Jack_Spade

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #7 on: (13:04:24/07-17-17) »
I think you misunderstood me: Your dice are less worth with Alchemy and therefore less effective
Alchemy+Magic hit determine Potency
Assuming six dice for both you throw 12 and get on average 4 hits at, let's say, Force 6.
The Preparation now throws Force+Potency dice = 10. That's 17% less hit chance than if you'd cast the spell normally.
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Revenant Kynos Isaint Rex

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #8 on: (13:47:08/07-17-17) »
Yes. That was acknowledged. The trade off for said dice pool is versatility.
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belaran

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #9 on: (13:48:56/07-17-17) »
OK, I really need to read again the Alchemy rules. I had just noted Alchemy + Magic => spell effect ! Did not realise there was a secondary roll... Fortunaly, I've not really used Alchemist in my game up until now.

Mirikon

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #10 on: (22:53:36/07-17-17) »
Yes. That was acknowledged. The trade off for said dice pool is versatility.
Indeed. Yes, the raw numbers are less efficient. But there are facets to Alchemy that aren't covered by the raw numbers. The simple fact that you don't have to roll to resist Drain during the middle of a run to use a preparation is HUGE, because it removes one of the nastiest little ways that Murphy comes along to smack mages upside the head. The less damage you take providing magical support, the more likely you are to actually survive the run. It only takes one time KOing yourself trying to cast a spell in a hurry to get your group out of trouble and being out for half the run before you start seeing the advantages of Preparations.

(That literally happened to me in my first game, back in 4E. Playing one of the Denver Missions, I'd taken some hits in the first encounter, and then some gogangers jumped us on the road, and I laid down an Ice Sheet. Sent them all crashing in a very cinematic way, but I was knocked out for the a good part of the job after that, including one of the meets.)

Being able to have multiple 'sustained' spells going at the same time without penalties or expensive as hell (in both nuyen and karma) foci is a boon all its own.

It is the same deal as comparing Sorcerers and Wizards in D&D. Sorcs throw the things they got, and keep doing it until they're out of spells. Wizards have to plan shit, but when a wizard is prepared for an encounter, your ass is grass.
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UnLimiTeD

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #11 on: (04:50:00/07-18-17) »
With the new rules, you actually can create a sort of potion.
But with the reduced pool, against a very low essence creature like that sam, you might very well not get sufficient hits for anything.
I mean, say, you get 10 dice on a heal spell prep, then reduce that by 5 when applying, getting at least 2 hits suddenly becomes not so easy.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.

Kuirem

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #12 on: (09:41:12/07-18-17) »
Heal is rarely useful on a Street Sam anyway, they tend to have high armor and so take only Stun Damage which Heal doesn't help with. Might as well give them a Stim Patch.

If anything it's probably better to go with Resist Pain (that work on both Stun and Physical) and use a heal yourself later to shave off as much damage as possible.

Beta

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #13 on: (11:14:35/07-18-17) »
Alchemical preparations have an average hits of :
(1/9 * alchemy roll) + (2/9 * preparation force)

However potency -- determining shelf life and how long the spell is sustained, averages at:
(1/3 * alchemy roll) - (1/3 * preparation force)

So you need your alchemy roll to be high enough to have a reasonable shelf life, and in the case of certain preparations sufficient duration to do the job (be careful with this when it comes to levitate .... ), but otherwise being able to deal with the drain of higher force preparations has a bigger impact on your final successes than does increasing your alchemy skill.  The new qualities and gear in FA make it easier to get long shelf life on preparations, so that you can better afford to take a bit of drain when making them in the firsts place.  Basically what I'm going at is if you are a full mage who hasn't picked up alchemy but has good drain soak (especially if centering and a good centering focus), buying a few points in alchemy may be more useful than you think.

Also note that some spells work far better with alchemy than do others, because they care more about the spell force than the hits or a high number of hits are not as critical.  It can be hard to win resisted rolls with alchemy.  So for example, indirect combat spells work better than do direct, most illusions are pretty easily seen through but a slowish levitate that you don't have to sustain may be just fine, and increase attribute spells work wonderfully for attributes that are not too high.

UnLimiTeD

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Re: [5ed] Heal spell potion / Essence penalty to Alchemy
« Reply #14 on: (12:05:42/07-18-17) »
Well, on the other hand direct spells will also benefit from the new options in FA.
Never really thought about the factors, seems like a high force is often all you need. Interesting.
Still waiting on a Vector-Thrust Liminal Body.