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Is Shadowrun really this brutal?

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Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #240 on: <02-04-16/1545:24> »
I agree with you in principle, Mirikon, but I personally think certain things are unbalanced in Shadowrun. High Force spirits are one example, because they can utterly break any semblance of balanced gameplay in that they are not high risk to summon compared to the high reward you get from them.  Summoning a Force 9 Spirit is something almost any Magician can attempt as long as their magic score is 5 or more and reliably expect to succeed. Banishing a Force 9 Spirit involves risk of death for any Magician with a magic score of 8 or less.

A Force 9 Spirit outclasses any starting street samurai without tens, if not hundreds, of piints of Karma invested simply because of its special powers and abilities.

If there is few effective counters beyond "bring more or better guns and/or magicians", then it's not a high risk/high reward system that encourages thinking. It's just a punishing system, and I for one don't appreciate that kind of gameplay.

That being said, I make changes to the game all the time to fit my table, so how brutal abgamebof Shadowrun is isn't really a question that can be answered unequivocally. I expect most of my players to know their limits; if they decide to go loud when sneaking into a corporate stronghold protected by something like a zero zone policy, Edge spent on Hand of God may be necessary if they get unlucky with their planning and/or dice rolls. But I'm not actively out to kill my players, so I also don't tend to send Force 12 blood spirits after them because I know that will most likely result in a total party kill.

All4BigGuns

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« Reply #241 on: <02-04-16/1550:32> »
Actually, Banishing it probably equates to a high risk of death even for those with a Magic higher than 8. This is because the Drain Resistance attributes cap out fairly early, and unless you sustain/quicken high Force Increase Attribute spells on those attributes, they're not getting past that. Even then, the general attitude shown on these boards toward quickened spells (and even sustaining those spells) seems to make that a bad idea (lots of talk of severely punishing people for doing it).
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Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #242 on: <02-04-16/1641:00> »
As long as your Magic is equal to Force of the Spirit you are attempting to banish, the resulting Drain DV is Stun; considering you have to take enough DV to completely fill you Stun Condition Monitor and twice your Physical Condition Monitor, I think it's very unlikely that you'd be risking death. Possible, but highly improbable.

Magic 9 + Banishing 6 vs Force 9 (+ Summoners Magic) with opposing hits x 2 Drain DV

A Force 9 Spirit could theoretically roll 9 hits, more if edged, resulting in 18 DV which is not enough to kill you (Stun Track of 10 results in 4 physical DV.

If the Summoner had Magic 9 AND the Spirit had Banishing Resistance, on the other hand, you would be looking at 20 dice to resist the Banishing, which could at worst result in 40 DV. Time to spend Edge on Hand of God, chummer.

That's also an extreme worst case scenario with a Summoner with Magic 9 and a Spirit with Force 9 and Banishing Resistance. It does illustrate how broken I think High Force spirits are more than I think it shows the weakness of Banishing as a mechanic in and of itself.

Rift_0f_Bladz

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« Reply #243 on: <02-04-16/1721:44> »
I agree that the drain on banishing is nuts. I also thing to should be something else. What, I'm not sure though, maybe drain equals the spirits force with if force higher than banisher's magic it is physical, maybe? This way it still hurts to banish high force spirits, but makes it less of a crap shoot with chance of death and nothing done to the spirit. Currently, it is better to just stunbolt it until it is disrupted. Also, Bug Queens can't be banished once they are here. It is under inhabitation in street grimiore pay 190 or 191, if memory serves for the page number.
Quote- Mirikon on 7/30/2019 at 08:26:51
Agreed. This looks like a 'training wheels' edition, that you can use to introduce someone to the setting, and then shift over to something like 5E or 4E. Like how D&D 5E is best used as training wheels for D&D 3.X.

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falar

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« Reply #244 on: <02-04-16/1812:24> »
Honestly, drain equal to hits would be a good start. At that, it's definitely a viable option. As it is, it's non-viable, which makes Banishing a trap skill even though you look at it and think it should be darn near required.

Whiskeyjack

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« Reply #245 on: <02-04-16/1826:52> »
Meh. If there wasn't the element of risk, then you'd have the roll-players calculating exactly how much it would take to always get F12 spirits on your side.
People already do that.

Man that roll-player term is still some dumb bullshit though.

No, Guns. Good design does indeed take into account how players may try to break the game, and look to prevent that, to the best of the designers' ability.
Because what you consider fun is the Objectively Right Way to Play, huh? Yawn.

If there is few effective counters beyond "bring more or better guns and/or magicians", then it's not a high risk/high reward system that encourages thinking. It's just a punishing system, and I for one don't appreciate that kind of gameplay.

Yup, this.

this is an issue much more easily settled by talking to your players if you're the GM, not with heavy-handed mechanics.
« Last Edit: <02-04-16/1829:38> by Whiskeyjack »
Playability > verisimilitude.

GloriousRuse

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« Reply #246 on: <02-04-16/1854:33> »
The old spirit argument!

I once demonstrated on dumpshock that a mildly optimized mage could, for an average of two stun and under .25% chance of death, summon a spirit that would be just as good as a sammy in combat against low to mid range enemies, outperform a sammy against high range enemies, beat the sammy in an a one on one, and emerge living and triumphant from situations that would kill the sammy. The fact that a single facet of the mage arsenal, readily and quickly deployable, and with lots of utility tricks and special features, no nuyen investment, no personal exposure,  no issues like dragging a barret down main street,  plus sheer disposability, could utterly dwarf any physical combat character seemed...unbalanced. I was of course told that I was clearly wrong and mages had it the same as anyone else. and that this was just foolishness even if it was entirely statistically correct and logically impeccable.

After all, what if I had forgotten about specialist anti mage snipers that corps just keep on hand, able to perfectly react, ID the mage, move in to position, and then shoot him, huh? Upon demonstrating that in the case of our super prescient sniper who could be in exactly the right place at the right time, both the mage and sammy died on the average. There was one sammy build that did not, but it required skillfuly manipualting the rules to become a cyberzombie without actually crossing the line of 0 essence and carrying small army levels of firepower.

So, lets accept that magic is, by dint of spirits, a wildly, wildly unbalanced gameplay mechanic that just cries out for exploitation and manipulation, and other than the GM getting a hold of it with soft limits, the system has no counter for it. Of course, GMs rarely do, largely due to GM-player social rules. So, given no real check on spirits, any roll player can, unless restricted for a personal desire not to be lame, spam unbalanced spirit death. Pretending there's a comparable or even near comparable answer is foolishness.


The Wyrm Ouroboros

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« Reply #247 on: <02-04-16/2341:29> »
The gameplay balance for magic is simply 'I can have more, and more powerful, mages than you.'  Even more than D&D (where superpowers usually require walking a very narrow path), 'overpowered' magic in SR can come along multiple different paths.  Not only that, but while the shadowrunning mage almost always has to be there, the security mage does not.

"Echo November to Mike Bravo."
"Go ahead, Echo November."
"Intruding Mike with zero-six Sierras, repeat zero-six Sierras estimated in the Foxtrot-Hotel range.  Request immediate backup and extermination.  Authorization Kilo Papa Quebec Quebec Niner Epsilon Alpha."
"Mike Bravo reads intruding Mike with zero-six Sierras estimated in the Foxtrot-Hotel range."
"That's a roger, Mike Bravo."
"Hang tight, Echo November, backup and extermination Sierras inbound in thirty, that's three-zero, seconds."
"Roger that, Mike Bravo.  Will remain on to advise."

And from a central location, one of three or four security mages gets woken up - a mage who's familiar with the security officer 'Kilo Papa Quebec Quebec Niner Epsilon Alpha'.  And he calls three or five of the F12+ spirits he has bound to him (because he's a security mage, and he can do that sort of thing) and they fast travel with him to said security officer at the Echo November location, and the mage then directs the spirits to wipe out the intruding mage's spirits, and then the intruding mage, and then the rest of the intruding mage's team.

Because the GM in every game ever can kill the PCs virtually at will.
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Reaver

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« Reply #248 on: <02-05-16/0015:03> »
The gameplay balance for magic is simply 'I can have more, and more powerful, mages than you.'  Even more than D&D (where superpowers usually require walking a very narrow path), 'overpowered' magic in SR can come along multiple different paths.  Not only that, but while the shadowrunning mage almost always has to be there, the security mage does not.

"Echo November to Mike Bravo."
"Go ahead, Echo November."
"Intruding Mike with zero-six Sierras, repeat zero-six Sierras estimated in the Foxtrot-Hotel range.  Request immediate backup and extermination.  Authorization Kilo Papa Quebec Quebec Niner Epsilon Alpha."
"Mike Bravo reads intruding Mike with zero-six Sierras estimated in the Foxtrot-Hotel range."
"That's a roger, Mike Bravo."
"Hang tight, Echo November, backup and extermination Sierras inbound in thirty, that's three-zero, seconds."
"Roger that, Mike Bravo.  Will remain on to advise."

And from a central location, one of three or four security mages gets woken up - a mage who's familiar with the security officer 'Kilo Papa Quebec Quebec Niner Epsilon Alpha'.  And he calls three or five of the F12+ spirits he has bound to him (because he's a security mage, and he can do that sort of thing) and they fast travel with him to said security officer at the Echo November location, and the mage then directs the spirits to wipe out the intruding mage's spirits, and then the intruding mage, and then the rest of the intruding mage's team.

Because the GM in every game ever can kill the PCs virtually at will.

And Wheaton's Law of "Don't be a Dick".

This is a social game, be social. You want to be an ass, save it for single player gaming.

Look, there are several of us here that play extremely high karma mages. Mine has 4300+, Wyrm's is 7000+...
WE don't have issues (well, many issues) with magic and spirits in our tables because we understand that, at its core, an RPG is just a bunch of buddies having fun. Be social. So we don't act like dinks. And thus, the GM doesn't act like a dink. And the whole table, awakened or not, agree to not be dinks. And thus, everyone has fun.

You can break every system out there to one side or the other with very little effort. My question is, "What do you gain?" Seriously, you gain a rep for being a dink, and thus have harder time finding games. Or your GM starts feeling the need to be a dink right back, doubling the problem.
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Adamo1618

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« Reply #249 on: <02-05-16/1402:11> »
What I gather from this is "bring a Barret Model 122 with APDS wherever you go".

falar

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« Reply #250 on: <02-05-16/1405:07> »
Incorrect.

Bring a Mage/Mystic Adept/Summoner with you wherever you go.

Herr Brackhaus

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« Reply #251 on: <02-05-16/1417:37> »
And a couple EBRs as a backup, just in case. You can never have too many contingency plans.

Mirikon

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« Reply #252 on: <02-05-16/1425:57> »
Or bring a Face wherever you go. Or bring Petite-brume grenades wherever you go. Or... there are plenty of ways to deal with spirits besides direct violence in the middle of their house. There's a reason why a good portion of special operations training even here in the real world involves 'escape' and 'evade', even though the men in those units are some of the biggest badasses around. Never, ever, EVER engage the enemy in a fair fight unless there is absolutely no other choice, and even then only for the bare minimum until you can make it an UNfair fight, or can escape. Stop thinking in D&D terms, where any encounter you come up against is going to be within a reasonable level for your characters (unless you charge an army, or something else stupid). Shadowrun isn't like that. Unless you're on a bug hunt, or some other job where you are supposed to wipe out everyone in your path, you don't get XP for taking down enemies, but for doing the job and getting out. Combat is a means to an end, and usually it means something has already gone wrong, so you need to spend less time worrying about killing all the enemies, and more about accomplishing your mission and de-assing the area with a quickness.

Or, y'know, you could charge the HMG in a bunker at the end of a narrow hallway. I'm sure that it will be 'fair' and you won't die horribly. </sarcasm> Seriously, though. Dealing with spirits is the same as with dealing with Zero Zones or other high security areas. If you're trying to fight fair, you best bring an army and unlimited ammo. What you want to do is cheat early, cheat often, and cheat as badly as you possibly can, to give you and your team the best odds to complete the mission and get out. Note, I didn't say 'overcome the obstacle', but 'complete the mission and get out'. Most times you don't NEED to kill the F9 bug spirit unless there is something mission critical in the room or in its path. Circle around, or better yet, try and trick your enemies into fighting the bug spirit. Stop thinking in terms of 'combat encounters', and start thinking in terms of 'getting the job done'. In the end, that is the biggest difference between Shadowrun, and other games like D&D or Champions. Hell, even in the Shadowrun Returns and Shadowrun Chronicles games, you have missions where killing everyone in the room is simply not possible, due to infinite adds, or is not what you need to do (which is get to the objective). You can bypass and ignore some of the enemies, or outrun them to the goal. Even when you must fight, you can cheat, taking cover, using different lines of fire, and so on. That's the thing. Shadowrunners are not Adventurers from D&D.
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Marcus

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« Reply #253 on: <02-05-16/1559:54> »
I don't think it's a big issue, Magic is a known quantity in the system and so are spirits. The setting is created with that understood. A force 9 is lot of spirit and calling one up to go midevil of the opposition, is not a subtle move. Doing so has consequences. Not the least of which summoning it isn't risk free, it has a high probability of collateral damage and is very traceable. A force 6 can do most of the jobs a force 9 can do at considerably lower risk, it's also worth noting that attack of the monster spirit is a fairly predictable tactic, and one that can easily be out maneuvered.   Tech has plenty of potential avenues of attack, that are just as deadly as spirits, they just take a little more circumstance to generate.
 
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KarmaInferno

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« Reply #254 on: <02-05-16/1608:33> »
And a couple EBRs as a backup, just in case. You can never have too many contingency plans.

"I dislike the term 'Plan B'. It implies I only have 26 of them."

I don't see what the problem is. Hit it with an 18-wheeler filled with explosives.

:)


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« Last Edit: <02-05-16/1610:08> by KarmaInferno »