Damage vs Impact

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« on: <08-14-16/0940:25> »
Just curious to those who have the Preview already, are the spell choice focusing largely on damage dealing or is there still a good range of other effects available?

I think I saw Chaotic world being on one of the Preview Archtypes someone posted on Reddit, but just curious to see how the Mind Control set and other Manipulations are being handled.

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« Reply #1 on: <09-18-16/1128:35> »
There isn't a list of spells in the Prototype, since there aren't character creation rules yet -- but the sample characters have Lightning Bolt, Chaotic World, Physical Mask, and Improved Invisibility. 

From the Anarchy Prototype (pg33):
"Spells in Shadowrun: Anarchy fall into two categories: combat spells and effect spells.  Combat spells inflict damage, either Physical or Stun; effect spells accomplish some form of non-damaging effect." It then describes the mechanics of the opposed test, and concludes "Success means the spell was cast successfully: a noncombat spell's effect occurs, or a combat spell applies its damage."
 "Combat spells are instantaneous; the spell immediately ends once its damage has been applied.  Effect spells last for as long as the spellcaster and story requires the spell to last. When the caster's next Narration arrives, the player can simply declare they are sustaining the spell they cast last turn; no Sorcery Test is needed." 

Generally there is a 1-sustained-spell limit (though Coydog has a Sustaining Focus as an amp that allows her to sustain one additional spell), and the rules suggest you could impose a dice penalty to other actions while sustaining long or complex spells.

So, to get back to your question, as far as range of effects and manipulations, the effects are largely left to the narration to describe.  In that respect, there's a really big range!  As far as the game mechanics of specific spells, they are generally doing things like affect die rolls of your friends or opponents.  Chaotic World just says "Mass hallucination/distraction" and can take whatever form you narrate that works in your story.  It's mechanics effect is that the targeted group must re-roll one successful die per roll they make while under it's effect.  Physical Mask says "Mass illusion/disguises" and anyone you cast it on can re-roll two failed dice when making Disguise rolls.  Improved Invisibility says "mass invisibility" and anyone in the targeted group can re-roll two failed dice on Stealth tests.

One thing that isn't talked about in the prototype is a way to determine how "strong" the spell being cast is.  (You don't determine a Force or anything like that, which would increase or decrease the amount of the benefit or damage.)  In reading the Valiant Universe rules (it's similarly based on the Cue system's narrative style), and comic books in general, they describe that "X is only as powerful as the plot needs it to be."   

This is total conjecture, but something like Mind Control might be great for totally controlling a guard while attacking a large facility in one story, but that level of control might short-circuit another story where the entire goal is to steal what that guard is protecting, so it might be better if the effect was more limited.  (Or imagine if, since there isn't a specific "more difficult to cast but more powerful" mechanic, you just mind control the main opponent, and the fight is over.  Not that fun of a story.)

The GM can impact this a bit by applying modifiers to the role, or if the effect is unopposed by giving a higher difficulty (adding more dice to the pool the GM rolls against you).

Mind Control could do something like give a better chance of success on rolls to instruct/command/request the target -- but in general, the rules don't seem to push you into making lots of continuous rolls, so I don't think this is likely.  Probably just up to a good Narration, and an occasional Plot Point thrown in for a particularly difficult-to-accept command (or maybe a chance for the subject to break free)?

Anyway, that's what I'm getting out of the short prototype explanations.  Hope that helps!