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Indirect spells and melee combat

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Chaemera

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« Reply #75 on: (22:16:55/11-17-10) »
Also, I've already stated how I run it in my games, and it's not how you describe it, the way I run it has been working for me and is very very balanced and fair according to my players, a few of which are math geeks, so I'm not too worried about house rules. However, I would have to disagree with your assertion that the rule is written as it is to make the game balanced, mainly because it is actually rather unbalanced as written - in the favor of the defender. Well, that's my opinion anyway, I guess we'll (hopefully) see when the errata comes out (one day)...

Okay, re-found and re-read*, your table basically turns touch-indirect spells into touch-direct spells that get armor as an added bonus. More streamlined & efficient. I can work with that as a house rule.

And yes, this is one where I would like to see an errata to at least clarify their intent.

I have to agree that, as written, touch spells favor the defender. Intentionally. After all, that's why you get -2 Drain modifier with a touch spell. It's weaker (read, unbalanced, in favor of the defender) than a regular LOS spell, and you suffer less drain as a result. This is due to adding an extra die-roll to establish a mystical link before you do anything else with your spell, if you then streamline the spell, you likewise make the spell simpler (read, pushing the balance back to the caster). It should be harder to hit with a melee spell and it should deal less damage than an equivalent ranged spell. That's kind of the point.

All that being said, if your house rule works well for your table in keeping the game moving and everyone has fun, awesome, that's the point of this whole mess. I'm just looking at it from a RAW perspective. Who knows, once I have to go through the actual work of casting a touch indirect combat spell, I might implement the same house rule. As it stands, everyone at my table has access to several colors of dice (by borrowing from my horde, if necessary), so they can say "blue, touch test, red spellcasting", and roll a bunch of dice at once into the felt die-roller thingy (always a must, and that is definitely its official name). Makes it a lot easier for resolving the occasions where you have to roll 2 or 3 pools just to determine the results of a single action.

*How voydangel runs touch-spells:
In my groups we run it in 2 steps as well, but slightly differently than FJs 2 steps.

We go:

1) Establish Magical Link: Standard melee combat test. (Unarmed Combat + Agility vs Defense test) The attacker/caster gets +2 dice because only a touch is required as per SR4A pg. 159.
2) If the melee touch attack succeeds: Spellcasting + Magic vs. Body/Willpower + Counter-spelling (and some armor and other random stuff if applicable to the spell). To determine spell effectiveness/potency.

This is fairly directly explained on pg. 183 where in Step 3: "Choosing a target", it mentions that if its a touch spell you must succeed in a melee attack vs the target to create the link. Then in step 4 you make your casting test, then step 5 the target resists.

Also on pg 203, it explains that a standard melee attack is required as part of the complex action of casting when using touch based spells.
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voydangel

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« Reply #76 on: (00:42:07/11-18-10) »
You know, it's funny that you should mention that you might use my house rule, because I just had a friend of mine stop by, one of the math geek players of mine, and we were talking about this thread.

We rehashed the various options (points of view/interpretations) and kind of concluded exactly your previous point (the one about the RAW keeping things somewhat balanced). And then discussed it, for like an hour. lol

So basically, while you were looking up the way I run it at my table, and rethinking possibilities, I was (we were) doing the same, and we came up with nearly exactly what you just said about drain and why touch spells are weaker. Our explanation was slightly different, but amazingly similar: "Everything about touch based spells (dice pools to resist etc) should be the same because the reduced drain is offset by the need for a touch attack." We further concluded that perhaps we will add the reaction back into "step 2", making our touch spells go off exactly as FJ explained:

Unarmed + Agility + mods vs Reaction + Melee Defense + mods.  Tie goes to caster.
Spellcasting + Magic + mods  vs Reaction + Counterspelling.  Net hits increase DV of the spell (They already had their chance to dodge the melee attack, I don't see how they can use melee defense to dodge again.)
Absorption roll if spell sucessful with DV determined by force + hits vs Body + 1/2 impact armor.
Resist Drain.

However, we are still in agreement over here that there shouldn't be any "ranged combat modifiers" applied to any of the tests when dealing with a touch spell. It just doesn't make sense in this context, so we will not be applying the -1 for previously defending, -3 for being in melee, etc. to the "Spellcasting + Magic + mods  vs Reaction + Counterspelling" step.

We're still waffling on getting rid of our streamlined version though, we'll see.  ;)

edit: can you provide a link to your "felt die-roller thingy" on amazon or some such, I've actually been looking for such an item unsuccessfully.
« Last Edit: (00:53:46/11-18-10) by voydangel »
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Chaemera

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« Reply #77 on: (06:30:27/11-18-10) »
You know, it's funny that you should mention that you might use my house rule, because I just had a friend of mine stop by, one of the math geek players of mine, and we were talking about this thread.

We rehashed the various options (points of view/interpretations) and kind of concluded exactly your previous point (the one about the RAW keeping things somewhat balanced). And then discussed it, for like an hour. lol

So basically, while you were looking up the way I run it at my table, and rethinking possibilities, I was (we were) doing the same, and we came up with nearly exactly what you just said about drain and why touch spells are weaker. Our explanation was slightly different, but amazingly similar: "Everything about touch based spells (dice pools to resist etc) should be the same because the reduced drain is offset by the need for a touch attack."

If it's not giving myself too much credit, I would argue, we're both semi-rationale, not completely insane, people. So, when someone offers up a feasible solution, we consider it.

However, we are still in agreement over here that there shouldn't be any "ranged combat modifiers" applied to any of the tests when dealing with a touch spell. It just doesn't make sense in this context, so we will not be applying the -1 for previously defending, -3 for being in melee, etc. to the "Spellcasting + Magic + mods  vs Reaction + Counterspelling" step.

Concur, I'm hoping that's what a future errata will say.

edit: can you provide a link to your "felt die-roller thingy" on amazon or some such, I've actually been looking for such an item unsuccessfully.

Type "dice tray" into amazon, it gives you a lot of results. In my experience, try to find one that is an inch or deeper. This one looks particularly tempting due to its large size, free shipping (I'm amazon prime, baby), and 10$ price tag are all pros.

Also, the price is a little steep, but Wizards has a toy called the "Dungeon Master's Token Set" (Sorry, Catalyst, not trying to pimp anyone else's product, just saying) that holds hundreds of 12mm d6's (literally), has a "felt die-roller thingy" built into the roof and some extra compartments they fill with junk that can also hold thumb-tacks, more dice, glass tokens, whatever random esoteric stuff you use for your games. We even use the some of the tokens (as dead people, cleaning drones, etc). Take a look in your local hobby shop, if you're willing to drop the money on it.
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The_Gun_Nut

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« Reply #78 on: (08:21:55/11-18-10) »
I've seen a dice tray like the one at Amazon before.  Those look really nice.  It's very tempting to buy one.

EDIT:  for spelling, too.
« Last Edit: (03:26:35/11-19-10) by The_Gun_Nut »
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Chaemera

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« Reply #79 on: (17:08:14/11-18-10) »
It's nice to have at the table, really kills the cocked die / die on the floor / die in the soda / die hit something arguments players try to pull when things don't go their way.

"You roll in the dice tray, if the die is outside the dice tray, you re-roll it inside the dice tray. Any dice disturbed by dice you have to re-roll due to carelessness are now what they read. Boo hoo, cry me a river if you gave yourself a glitch by failing at rolling dice in a 12 inch hexagon."

EDITED for spelling.
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