Author Topic: Spells and ranges  (Read 309 times)

Raven2049

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Spells and ranges
« on: (10:29:26/08-03-17) »
Let me preface this post with a comment that I am having trouble with a player who likes to stand off at one km or more extreme range for sniper rifles basically, in snipe the opposition with spells. His argument is that if he can see them he can do that this is really starting to annoy me as I cannot counter him without putting something up against the party that will annihilate everybody but him. He is very much A Min maxer and is rolling over 25 dice for spell casting, and over 20 dice for drain resistance as well as using reagents to set limits on his spells. So spellcasting really don't bother him at all.

I really don't have a problem with him having that many dice for drain and spell-casting, as he has worked up to that point. What I do have a problem with is the range situation. He prefers to levitate himself up to a high altitude and snipe from there at extreme ranges using optical binoculars to focus in on his targets.

Are there any rules that state distance limitations for spells? Or similar to weapons is there a range increment of some sort that I can impose upon him?

To be clear I'm not looking for you guys to tell me to astrally take him down or dispel his levitation spell or Etc. I'm looking for ways I can limit him and possibly force him to come closer and stay with the party more or less.

Any thoughts?

Jack_Spade

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #1 on: (10:47:30/08-03-17) »
Look at the visibility table - even light fog/smog at these distances will make it very hard to see a target. Also he will be hard pressed to detect any enemies not seen before. Even someone with a standard hunting rifle and a simple scope will be a serious threat for the lone levitating figure in the sky.

Not to mention that airspace in cities is closely monitored because there are lots and lots of drone deliveries going on. An unmarked and unidentified flying object could draw some unwanted attention - especially if it starts to sling lightning.

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Sphinx

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #2 on: (11:59:24/08-03-17) »
Use the Environmental Modifiers table (SR5 p.175), and apply standard modifiers for visibility, light, glare, and range. The rulebook doesn't give range intervals for line-of-sight spellcasting, so use sniper rifle ranges -- they're the longest option on the Range Table (SR5 p.185).

The SR2 Grimoire (p.111) had an optional Spell Range Modifiers Table, but it had more than the standard four range intervals.

Kiirnodel

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #3 on: (05:47:53/08-04-17) »
I've always thought it was odd that there aren't range modifiers/category distances for standard perception... if there was, problem solved.

Spooky

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #4 on: (15:33:32/08-04-17) »
So he's using high power binocs to see clearly that far. What do binocs do? Limit your field of vision. So, the corp/agency that he's trying to snipe has an armed helicopter nearby on routine patrol, and that can shoot at him while he's unaware of it, which means he gets no defense against the attack. Can you say ouch?
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Reaver

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #5 on: (16:54:12/08-04-17) »
Well, the biggest one is WHERE the jobs take place.

Being a kilometer out casting spells is all fine and good for an outside target... but what about when the job takes place in an office building?? That one way glass used on offices block LOS (why is it one way? Cause Corps are afraid of angry mages dropping fireballs on them! - seriously, cars and buildings feature one way glass for magic protection).

If you allow him to be a kilometer out, expect him to stay that far out! (I would if I was him!).

Cities are also crowded places, filled with moving objects, smog and other things. Throw in night time activities and good luck seeing anything that far out!


So my advice is spend a little more time planning the Run, spending time on it's location and objectives... This will allow you to decide what approaches are possible to the objective. (Flying in to an underwater site is not going to work... packing an assault canon to a Jacket and Tie event is not going to work. Levitating 1000feet in the air to cast spells on people inside a building is not going to work...)
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Beta

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #6 on: (19:40:10/08-04-17) »
Mostly what Reaver said, but some other thoughts:

- Give them problems that can't be solved by a chainsaw, errr, combat spells.

- Set things up so that he's not getting full information on the scene (someone is out of site around a building, instructions are being yelled at the team that he can't hear, etc .... potentially even kick him out of the room during everyone else's action, then bring him in on his and let him know what he can detect, and let him try to figure out what to do with those spells.  Once or twice taking out the wrong person may change his mind.

- More smoke grenades, darkness, etc.

- Busy, chaotic, scenes with a lot moving around and in the way, making it hard to to get clear line of sight.

- Higher security zones where doing what he is doing IS going to attract attention.

And my personal favorite:  Anything the players do which is super shifty, tricky, or effective ... NPC may do sometimes.  Push things as hard as you really want, but do understand that this will make the opposition more effective.

SunRunner

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #7 on: (12:38:06/08-31-17) »
Spirits, dont forget Spirits!  One spell comes in and the oppositions Mage goes hmm Hey Combat Fire Spirit go find the guy slinging spells at us and kill him. Even if he is a Kilometer+ away thats one ACTION for an astral spirit which wont have much problem finding him as hes sitting up in the air all glowy with active spells and throwing combat spells down range leaving a nice mana tracer trail for the spirit to back track. Remember the running rate for an Astral entity is 5 KILOMETERS per turn, so if you assume 3 actions that a little over 1.5 Km per action. Also remember spirits even when manifested have flight and are explicitly not bound by gravity, core rule book page 303 under spirit movement block. Also dont forget any mage with the right equipment can do what hes doing as well and if you dont think combat mages dont carry optic vision mag stuff around you would be wrong, they may not be as specialized spell snipers as your boy but they should be able to spot him and start a nice spell sniping war with him to keep him busy.

Alternatively a nice mundane sniper can counter battery him pretty easily, soon as that flashy Fireball or lighting bolt comes in he will start scanning the sky and spot your boy and its unlikely that hes gonna spot the sniper with a great stealth pool and an infiltrators suit running in active camouflage mode + standard sniper tricks like silencer/suppressors for both sound and muzzel flash. Can you say "BOOM! HEAD SHOT!"

Also Riggers not much different then spirits get one with a nice Aero combat drone and it should be able to zoom over and get into weapons range to engage him as well. Not to mention drones carrying sniper rifles or even heavier ordinance are out there, introduce him to a rail gun, it will be fun! 

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #8 on: (18:50:20/08-31-17) »
I'm a big fan of Mana Barriers and Counterspelling. Both work wonders against Magic.
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SunRunner

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #9 on: (20:14:38/08-31-17) »
True, its also worth noting that Counter spell dice are essentially a mana static aura the mage puts up with a simple action. Onces he has declared hes counter spelling and who hes protecting it dont matter if hes unaware of the casting mage or not, the counter spell action happens. You could also run him into a guy running that new harmony upgrade to counterspelling meta magic which means when the enemy mage counters his spell it gets returned to sender and just let him have fun eating his own spells to the face...

maxcarrion

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #10 on: (12:13:19/09-05-17) »
Yeah - a lot of what these guys have been saying

Absolutely, this player is using an effective sniper tactic - there's nothing wrong with his assessment of the rules, he absolutely can do that as a mage and it works and the Shadowrun universe knows it works (hence every window being mirrored and important things are underground)

Like many powerful tactics - like sniping with a rifle, throwing explosives,hacking their systems, full automatic fire - there are times when it will work and work well and times when it will be useless or next to useless.  When I run a game with a min maxer my creed is always to let them succeed sometimes and throw complications sometimes just as I would at a decker, sam, face or any other role - highly specialized builds often suffer out of their comfort zone - my players never have charisma 1 not because I forbid it but because sooner or later someone will have a conversation with their character and react badly  (I mean, sometimes they have charisma 1 but they know it's going to affect their game and not just be a cheap dump stat that never comes up)

 - Spotting targets - a 1 km unobstructed view to a target might not be all that common, any indoor, in vehicle, behind a building, around a corner and it's immediate fail.  How's the weather?  How good are those binoculars?  Get some binoculars, go try spot a target at 1km in any town - flying helps but streets have houses on both sides, if you even know where you're looking - go up a high building and try to spot a particular address - it's really not that easy, time to acquire target is much longer than if you're up close, re-positioning for a different angle takes much longer - actions to observe in detail before every spell to spot targets, more actions to identify them (as I would also expect from a rifle sniper at those ranges) - Oh, is that a ward - guess I'm done here

 - Getting spotted - So, flying 500m over a city, doesn't anyone have radar?  do they have drones? do they have astral perception? Law enforcement might get interested, especially if lightning starts flying about, invisible?  doesn't affect radar, doesn't affect ultrasound, doesn't affect astral perception - that spirit just looked up - oh, there you are, the only metahuman sized aura in a clear line of sight - that makes you much easier to spot than your target is who is covered by all that ground clutter.

 - Response - well, any mages in the target area can throw spells right back, counter inbound spells, spirits, aircraft/drones, sniper rifles - if the PC is throwing direct energy (lightning, fire etc.) then he's lit up like a christmas tree, throwing indirect is a little stealthier (e.g. mana bolt) but has a bit less oomph, Watch any TV that has a sniper shoot - as soon as they are aware a sniper exists everyone puts cover in the way - behind a vehicle, behind a rock, behind a building, pop smoke, no line of sight means no shot

 - The law - if a team go into corp territory the city cops don't care what you do.  If a runner is in city territory throwing spells into corp territory then you have trouble with city security and corp security.  Spells leave signatures behind, the higher the force the longer the signature hangs around.  Throwing kilometer long lightning bolts over a city might peak someone's interest, it sure isn't subtle, that signature and that MO will end up on file with KE, with Lonestar, with Eagle security, being loud isn't always a good idea

I'm not saying it should never work, but just like any sniper there are loads of limits and counters and restrictions - at some point he's going to run into some of them

PS - just for fun, background count can be really entertaining when people are levitating.

Mirikon

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #11 on: (19:44:35/09-05-17) »
The only thing more fun than a mage levitating 500m off the ground getting spotted by corpsec is the mage NOT getting spotted by helicopter drones delivering whatever to whoever, and running into the mage. Describe the result to the mage by throwing a watermelon at a spinning lawnmower blade.
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Jareth Valar

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #12 on: (17:52:32/09-06-17) »
All of the above are good points. However, if you REALLY want to limit the LOS of combat spells (it all LOS shields for that matter) you could use Magic x 100 as Max range and use 0-M point blank, M - M x 10 short range, M x 10 - M x 25 medium range, M x 25 - M x 50 long range, and M x 25 - M x 100 extreme range.

Former GM of mine used this because he HATED line of sight magic.

Mirikon

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #13 on: (19:17:42/09-06-17) »
Honestly, what your GM should have done, Jareth, was enforce distance penalties on perception checks to ID targets at long ranges, and also make sure they were doing those perception checks with no electronic enhancers not paid for with Essence, and applying the -2 to cast spells at targets you are using optical aids to target.

That, and all the other little ways to discourage that kind of thing already mentioned, that don't need houseruling to implement.
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SunRunner

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Re: Spells and ranges
« Reply #14 on: (12:14:15/09-07-17) »
There are alot of things players can do that are kinda silly and if the GM cant think of ways to control it or is unwilling to control it expect the game to go down hill fast.