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SRM Combined FAQ Discussion

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Marcus

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« Reply #60 on: <06-09-18/2007:19> »
I'm guessing SSDR is suggest we implement spirit index or a version of it for SRM?
Which i don't really have a problem with. But i am concerned the mechanics outlining reducing spirit index aren't going to be easily handled in the SRM setting. So that would need to be addressed somehow.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #61 on: <06-09-18/2021:43> »
I'm guessing SSDR is suggest we implement spirit index or a version of it for SRM?
Which i don't really have a problem with. But i am concerned the mechanics outlining reducing spirit index aren't going to be easily handled in the SRM setting. So that would need to be addressed somehow.

Indeed.

And yeah it may be more trouble than it's worth, but I think adapting it for SRM is worthy of consideration  (if that hasn't already happened at some point in the past)
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Marcus

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« Reply #62 on: <06-09-18/2114:22> »
I'm guessing SSDR is suggest we implement spirit index or a version of it for SRM?
Which i don't really have a problem with. But i am concerned the mechanics outlining reducing spirit index aren't going to be easily handled in the SRM setting. So that would need to be addressed somehow.

Indeed.

And yeah it may be more trouble than it's worth, but I think adapting it for SRM is worthy of consideration  (if that hasn't already happened at some point in the past)

I think it could worth while, in the sense that NT has been pretty hands off magic, and so I expect to see a fairly strong magic showing, so having something that keeps spirit abuse down strikes me as very worth while. Having force 12 spirit do everything on a run just isn't that interesting. I just think we need to have a mechanic that ensures that players can spend time or something to lower that index, in such a way that won't be disruptive at the table. 

My first suggestion would be something lower the score by 1 ever third mod, or something along those lines.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #63 on: <06-10-18/1635:42> »
I'm guessing SSDR is suggest we implement spirit index or a version of it for SRM?
Which i don't really have a problem with. But i am concerned the mechanics outlining reducing spirit index aren't going to be easily handled in the SRM setting. So that would need to be addressed somehow.

Indeed.

And yeah it may be more trouble than it's worth, but I think adapting it for SRM is worthy of consideration  (if that hasn't already happened at some point in the past)

I think it could worth while, in the sense that NT has been pretty hands off magic, and so I expect to see a fairly strong magic showing, so having something that keeps spirit abuse down strikes me as very worth while. Having force 12 spirit do everything on a run just isn't that interesting. I just think we need to have a mechanic that ensures that players can spend time or something to lower that index, in such a way that won't be disruptive at the table. 

My first suggestion would be something lower the score by 1 ever third mod, or something along those lines.

Spirits cost Force *500 Nuyen to bind.  A Force 12 Spirit would run 6,000 Nuyen worth of Reagents  to bind and have 24 dice to resist the binding.  I guess I haven't seen much Spirit abuse in Missions play (generally).  Once in a while you'll see a summoner build that can whistle up a Force 9 Spirit with a couple of services, I'm not sure I've seen mages with that Force of Spirit bound to them. 

And honestly those were at tables where the GM was/could/did push the envelope frequently.  Because... Force 9 Spirit... 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #64 on: <06-10-18/1745:04> »
Of course noone would treat a F12 bound spirit with the same cavalier attitudes they treat a F12 spirit they got for free (not bound, simply conjured).

But the one free spirit you can have that's unbound?  It's literally free. Usually doesn't even cost drain at high Force, so long as you're playing an optimized character.  (and the sorts of players who'd use a high force spirit as a personal trap-finder/suicide-charger rather than risking his own mage tend to only play optimized builds)

Of course the mage sitting back and sending the Spirit in as his personal proxy into harm's way isn't fundamentally different than the rigger, but the rigger at least pays for his drones.  And of course the rules put high force spirits out of any league a drone could be in, but that's a complaint for the errata team rather than the SRM team :)
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #65 on: <06-11-18/0335:42> »
In a normal game they'll have to convince the Spirit not to use Edge when oversummoning but in SRM you'll end up with a big debate if you use that legal counter.
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Hobbes

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« Reply #66 on: <06-11-18/1020:27> »
IME the dice are swingy enough to keep mages from causally using High force Spirits for trivial reasons.  Missions are often short enough time frames that recovery from Drain isn't always a given before the next scene starts.

Can it be disruptive?   Yes, but mission GMs have the option to push the envelope.  Is the risk/reward for summoning balanced?  No, at least not compared to other non-magic options.  But balancing Summoning (and magic in general) is way out of scope for Missions. 

"have faith in the Mission GMs" isn't a great RAW argument, but for some of the Meta issues it's probably the best option.  Also "Please don't break the game".   :  )

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« Reply #67 on: <06-11-18/1037:26> »
'I got 2 services on a F12 Spirit that can obliterate the final fight for me' is hardly something that faith can easily compensate. If the Spirit uses Edge, then odds change, but without anyone with a bit of centering can easily Edge their way out of significant drain and ruin the balance.

 And therein lies the rub: Edge against oversummoning is a legal counter but will face complaints and arguments it isn't. 'Don't break the game' isn't going to solve that. Dumping all responsibility on the GMs doesn't suffice either. Don't forget we've had cases of players blackmailing GMs and filing false reports when they didn't get their way. We run the same risk here. Not to mention the players that force a GM to either cripple the game or allow an exploit. Merely leaving this to GMs won't help when a GM is put under pressure.
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Lormyr

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« Reply #68 on: <06-11-18/1059:10> »
Personally, at our local tables, we almost always pre-edge on the spirit's behalf when oversummoning. Even so with our core group, Force 15-18 spirits being summoned with little to no drain damage taken is very common.

When you have spirits of that Force, those things are epic beings easily on par with standard dragons. The risk vs. reward factor should be skewed, both for game balance purposes, as well as setting flavor.

That said, I think the better game design option would be to limit the Force of spirits summoned to Magic rating or rating +1/+2 at most. That solves a lot of issues with lower-karma groups abusing the mechanics.

Edit: Or perhaps a general rule than spirits higher than Force 9 cannot be summoned by player character's without using the spirit ally option.
« Last Edit: <06-11-18/1101:35> by Lormyr »
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« Reply #69 on: <06-11-18/1107:02> »
there are two huge problems with spirits & binding as currently implemented in srun.

1). as you note using edge and centering to oversummon

2). binding 8 high force spirits because you're an elf shaman

taken together those two things above can completely break the game.

heck the mage doesn't even really need a party with 8 force 6 or higher spirits at his call.

our table uses a houserule to prevent spirit armies:

​(Magic + Initiate Grade)x2 is the maximum total force worth of spirits you can have in use at any one time (material AND astral plane).​

i also like the previous poster's idea of a hard cap on spirit's force limited by caster's magic rating.

Redwulfe

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« Reply #70 on: <06-11-18/1127:54> »
In general Magic users as a whole are more efficient in the game. But I don't feel they are broken. I do think conjuring being free has been something that has been needed looked at for several editions as buffs have been given to magicians over time, but magic even in 1st edition was powerful. Sprit index and reputation is something that does go a bit to give something to offset some of this but looking at it it is lip service at best and not really in the scope of SRM in my opinion. Most table GMs will not know how to reward spirit index and it will just add more complexity on their plate. you will find that most GMs will just not do it and at index divided by 25 to get a die pool penalty it doesn't effect them significantly enough to balance over summoning.

personally i have always thought that spirits should have some sort of availability rating like gear as powerful spirits should be hard to find and that they should cost nuyen in the form of gifts that need to be used to seal the deal, but luckily I am not the designer of the game. :) and I am not currently advocating for the creating more rules for an already complex game now.

What I do like is Lormyr suggestion. Just put a magic cap on the force of the spirit allowed to be summoned and encourage GMs to pre-edge resistance as spirits don't want to be summoned. I will be pre-edging from now on for all rolls for summoning at my tables. I would suggest putting the magic cap at the characters magic rating + grade. This does mean that a magician that initiates will be able to summon spirits above his magic rating but I am good with that since they payed to initiate.

for example: Carlos has a starting character. He maxed his magic at 6 and can summon spirits of force 6 or lower. latter he initiates to grade 1 and now he can summon more powerful force 7 spirits, if he raises his magic rating to 7 he can summon force 8 because his magic rating(7) + grade(1) allows it.

To me I think this is simple and easy to use. It isn't going to make spirits more balanced but i think it is something that will at least keep massive abuse from happening as often at low tier tables.

Adzling capping total force available to magi + initiate grade x2 is also a great thing as well.

I would say that these two things are within the scope of SRM to accomplish.

The Maximum force of a spirit is limited to the summoners Magic Rating + his Initiation Grade and the maximum total force of spirits in service to a summoner no matter where the spirit is at, is twice that amount.

and maybe add: Bound spirits only count half of their force round up against the total limit of summoned spirits a character is allowed to have at any given time.
« Last Edit: <06-11-18/1138:09> by Redwulfe »
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« Reply #71 on: <06-11-18/1154:35> »
For missions play, maxing spirits at magic (or magic plus initiate grade), and being open about it being for balance reasons, sounds totally sensible.

And to be honest, it not only keeps a very powerful spirit from rendering much of the adventure meaningless, it also reduces randomness.  Even in summoning a force six spirit, occasionally the GM will roll five successes -- it happened in my home game last night, and even with edge the summoner took four drain.  In a home game you can work around it somewhat more easily, I think.  But I'd imagine it could kind of ruin someone's experience if they made it to a convention to play a game, summoned a force nine spirit,  the GM happened to roll seven successes for the spirit, and the players edged soak roll didn't come out very well.  (and it could partially ruin everyone else's experience if they did succeed .... )
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #72 on: <06-11-18/1257:52> »
For missions play, maxing spirits at magic (or magic plus initiate grade), and being open about it being for balance reasons, sounds totally sensible.

And to be honest, it not only keeps a very powerful spirit from rendering much of the adventure meaningless, it also reduces randomness.  Even in summoning a force six spirit, occasionally the GM will roll five successes -- it happened in my home game last night, and even with edge the summoner took four drain.  In a home game you can work around it somewhat more easily, I think.  But I'd imagine it could kind of ruin someone's experience if they made it to a convention to play a game, summoned a force nine spirit,  the GM happened to roll seven successes for the spirit, and the players edged soak roll didn't come out very well.  (and it could partially ruin everyone else's experience if they did succeed .... )
Yeah, if you have 10 drain dice, odds are approx 1/25 that even with a reroll you take 4 drain if you have 10 drain dice. Meanwhile, if you have 20 drain dice thanks to Quickened Attributes and Centering, a non-edging Force 12 faces about the same drain odds (and average drain taken is 0.5). So non-optimised characters get hit with this once in a while ('wait I took how much drain, okay I'm gonna be a 100 meters away this fight y'all, let the Spirit handle it' in Dragon Song), and an optimised heavy character can quickly face just that amount of random luck if we don't edge. Math is wonky like that, and averages don't always apply. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it sucks like hell.

As long as we simply make the option explicit for Edge, or put a limit on the Force 'because Spirit consensus is they don't like this within Missions', that would help balance things out. But we kinda can use something explicit to block abusive players, other than just a no from the GM.

AnyDice code:
Code: [Select]
SN: {0:2, 2}
RR: {0:4, 1:5}
N: {0:2, 1}
output [highest of 0 and 6dSN-10dRR]
output [highest of 0 and 12dSN-20dRR]
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Marcus

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« Reply #73 on: <06-11-18/1354:11> »
So lots discussion, but I don't feel like we are any closer to consensus on a Spirit Index.
Most what was said, seemed like we would do better to have it then not.
So specifically what's everyone thinking on that?
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« Reply #74 on: <06-11-18/1414:47> »
Edgelord the Elven Mage smiles as he looks at his foe.  He grins cockily at his runner team and says "I got this" as he makes an arcane gesture and eight spirits materialize. A broad spectrum of spirit types are represented, and even the non-awakened can feel the power radiating off of these massive spectral creatures. Edgelord was proud of his Force 8 spirits, even if they did take a bunch of downtime to summon and were a little expensive.

Finally, Edgelord closes his eyes and concentrates, power leaking from him as he summons up one final, massive spirit. He grips his lucky dice that he wears around his neck, a non-magical item that he swears alters the probabilities of success for difficult tasks like this. A soft tearing sound is heard as a fiery claw tears its way out of the astral plane, followed by the monstrous form of an elemental from the plane of fire.

"What is thy bidding, my master" it hisses, steam pouring out of it's mouth as it speaks.

"Follow me, spirits.  Destroy any Renraku security personnel we encounter."

Edgelord strides forward, confidant in his spirit army. Suddenly an alarm sounds as they cross the outer edge of Renraku's land. Confused, the elf looks at his teams decker. "I thought you said there wasn't any sensors!"

"There's not! I don't know what we tripped!  Let me scan again."  A moment later, Plughead the decker looks perplexed. "Ok, something under the ground is sending out a signal, but the only thing its connected to is a photovoltaic sensor? But it's about 2 meters under ground."

"Crap.  Glomoss." Edgelord muttered. Glomoss was an annoying magical plant that glowed in the presence of magic. "Well, I wasn't really planning to use much stealth anyway, so lets rock."

Across the Renraku compound, Renraku Security Mage Matt Anderson looked out the window in the direction of the alarm and scanned astrally. With a sigh, he grumbled to himself. "Don't they realize how fragging long it takes me to resummon these things?  Seriously, this is nearly a week of overtime right here." With snap of his fingers, six force six spirits appeared.  "Contain the spirit threat as best you can, and counterspell the mage.  Backup will arrive shortly."

As the spirits sped off to delay the incoming spirit army and their shadowrunner backup, Matt mentally called a number on his commlink. "Dispatch, I have 9 high powered spirits coming in.  Yeah, shadowrunners again.  I need backup.  How many spirits can you send on short notice?  18 more Force 6?  Excellent.  Yeah, 30 seconds should be plenty of time, the runners have just barely broken the outer perimiter.  Thank you sir.  Yeah, I'll summon another on the fly as extra support.  I should be able to handle a Force 10 without too much trouble."

Matt sat back and took a sip of coffee.  At least the company paid for the summoning reagents and paid him time and a half for the hours he spent summoning. He didn't understand how shadowrunners could afford to burn through those so fast.