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Rules and such / Re: Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?
« Last post by Xenon on Today at 12:53:15 »
Not sure what that means... should I be flattered or offended? :}
It mostly just mean that you managed to reply while I was typing my reply to the previous poster.
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I think there is an important distinction between debating RAW (which we are doing in this topic, at least as far as I can tell) and how different tables choose to play the game.

I think this is very important to remember.  This is a discussion about a rule.  It's a place to discuss how the rule is.  How it "should be" is better argued in person with your own gaming buddies, as that's where the game actually matters in a practical sense anyway.  If you don't like the rules on page 280 or any other page for that matter, by all means ignore or change them.

If someone's opinion is "Well the Perceiving Magic rules are just stupid, and I'm not using them as-is" I have no retort.  That's not my intent.  Hell, I can sympathize.. I'm no RAW is LAW robot... I find the rules as written for spotting hidden matrix icons to be stupid and unplayable.  I'm just not arguing that RAW is saying something other than what it says.  So I totally get opinion based pushback... I'd just appreciate facts and logic rather than opinion in the thread.

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slipped by Stainless Steel Devil Rat

Not sure what that means... should I be flattered or offended? :}
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Rules and such / Re: Astral Manifestation and Weapon Foci...
« Last post by Xenon on Today at 12:31:51 »
The rules are actually pretty explicit here.

SR5 p. 314 Astral Movement
Active weapon foci have a presence in astral space and can harm an astral form (see Foci, p. 318), but you must be present on the astral plane to use the focus in astral combat.

SR5 p. 315 Astral Combat
Astrally perceiving and dual-natured characters use their physical attributes and skills to fight opponents with a physical body, and their Astral Combat + Willpower to fight wholly astral entities.


Also, astral Combat is mostly fought in the minds of the combatants. Doesn't matter how hard you strike. You don't even use your physical skills and attributes in astral combat to begin with. You need willpower rather than strength. And Astral Combat training. And astral perception (or projection).

If a spirit had been using the Materialization power then the adept could have attacked him on the physical plane using his weapon focus, his physical skills and his physical attributes.
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Rules and such / Re: Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?
« Last post by Xenon on Today at 12:19:24 »
Oh Look another person who doesn't believes invisibility shouldn't work lol.
So far I have been neutral in this topic and just cited RAW. Please don't confuse that with what I personally believe (or not) or how we treat things at our table. Thank you.


In the end you are choosing to read and interpret the rules a little different then most people I know who play the game...
I think there is an important distinction between debating RAW (which we are doing in this topic, at least as far as I can tell) and how different tables choose to play the game.


Its like saying every point of armor you have give ...
The key difference here is that (by RAW) it is clear that the purpose of armor is to calculate if the attack deal physical damage or stun damage and that the modified armor value act as a positive dice pool modifier to your body resistance roll where each hit will reduce the modified damage value by one. The book also give us rules so we know how to treat various damage types and ammo types. There is no guesswork involved. The rules are clear.

While with Noticing Magic the book first make a blanket statement that magic is rarely subtle (=almost always obvious) and Noticing Magic [when it is subtle] is resolved with a Perception + Intuition [Mental] Test. Full stop. The book does not list any exceptions, but it does list several examples from different areas where the rule is applied (such as walking through a ward, being the victim of the control thoughts spell, a spirit in the astral plane, a projecting magician traveling through your aura, noticing a magician casting a manabolt spell...)

If there are exceptions (and it for example is impossible to notice high force sustained illusion spells) then the book does a poor job at explaining them.

If there are no exceptions (and it for example is possible to notice high force sustained illusion spells) then it make sense that there are no listed exceptions since it would fall under the general noticing magic rule like everything else.

I think a big reason why some people in this thread are arguing that it should be impossible to notice a sustained spell is because they want their high force Invisibility spell and multiple quickened spells without risking people report feeling chills, dread, or other unnatural sensations they canít quite put their finger on... Not because of RAW. Again, I am not saying they are wrong. Or right. I am just saying that as far as I can tell they don't have much support from the book as it is written (there is also nothing about noticing magic in the official errata).

On the other hand there is also no explicit example with people that report feeling chills, dread, or other unnatural sensations they canít quite put their finger on when a subject under a high force Invisibility spell and multiple quickened spells walk pass them in the corridor.


I cant influence the guards to do anything because as soon as he walks back in the guard shack and says everything is fine the other guards go Ohh your covered in magic sparkles hit the panic button and call in magic back up etc.
It is clear that you can notice magic if you observe the magician as he cast the spell (twitching fingers).

It is also clear that the victim of this specific subtle manipulation spell get a chance to notice magic (feeling chills, dread, or other unnatural sensations they canít quite put their finger on - not "glowing sparks" or "lit up brighter then most million candle spot lights").

SR5 p. 292 Manipulation Spells
A victim of mental manipulation spell may roll to notice the magical effect according to the usual rules for Perceiving Magic (p. 280).


Having said that, I know what I believe and I have a good idea on how to handle it. I just can't find a lot of support from RAW...


slipped by Stainless Steel Devil Rat
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Rules and such / Re: Astral Manifestation and Weapon Foci...
« Last post by DarthRapier on Today at 12:05:39 »
But I can see him... he is right there... Logically the dual nature of the Weapon Foci, which exist in astral space as you said, should do something to him as it passes through his astral form.
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You can notice spells when they are cast and in some other specified circumstances.


You disagree with my assertion that due to the description on pg 280 All magic is perceptible and subject to those Perceiving Magic rules.  Fair enough, but if you can't provide a citation that supports your claim that spells are only noticeable under certain circumstances you'll understand why I consider your claim the weaker one.

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Noticing spirits are present in the Astral is called out as being fluffy and mostly tied to the spirits being lazy and actually touching the mundanes aura, not if its sitting quietly in a corner no one is near.

And yet that's counter to what pg 280 says.  It says nothing about the spirit needing to touch the observer's aura in order to grant the observer the chance to notice the spirit's presence.  And at the same time, it does give the implication that the spirit need simply be in proximity as we have a definitive statement in "spirits sometimes cause the air to shimmer, even from astral space".  At best the only room for disagreement about this statement is a philosophical argument about whether there's a shimmer there to be seen if noone is there to see it.  (the tree falling in the forest with noone to hear rehash)   However if you're going to argue that a character can only see shimmers if the spirit touched that character's aura, I'm going to dismiss your argument as based on "this is how I think SR should work" rather than what SR itself is telling us about how it works.  Gimme a citation to support your opinion or all you got is opinion.

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Also as Marcus pointed out if sustained spells are just obvious its self defeating. It also makes a bunch of meta magics worthless as he pointed out. The whole let me invest 2 metamagics worth of initiation(masking & extended masking) into it so that even mages cant tell I have physical mask up is unless they manage to break my masking meta magic or resist my physical mask spell is self defeating when they go i beat a thresh hold 1 perception test to see the magical sparkles around you because you cast a bad ass force 8 physical mask spell. It means mages are by default the Pinkest of Pink Mohawk characters unless and untill they get to a spell casting skill of 10+ so that even medium force spells require at least 3 or 4 hits to notice.

Going backwards to front on this:  So what if mages are inherently very pink mohawk?  There's a pretty big suspension of disbelief if you're running a "black trenchcoat game but with magic" anyway.

But more to the point, keep in mind that the "but invisibility is worthless!" counter is a straw man fallacy: the example on pg 280 never says anything about the magic's effects being countered by tells, nor that the event of successfully perceiving that magic is present gives information to mundane senses about what the magic is doing, or even where it exactly is located.  So no, there's no reason to presume that just because a powerful invisibility spell might be perceived under the Perceiving Magic rules there's no reasonable justification in saying invisibility magic is worthless because it A) still doesn't let the observer know where the invisible person is and B) provide the observer the knowledge that the magic noticed even was specifically an invisibility spell.

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They have some specific rules like if your the target of a mental manipulation spell that get around this, also some of the spell descriptions themselves imply noticable effects that I would use to apply the notice a spell rules even when its being sustained. The armor spell is one of the top of my head as the spell description clearly states you have a nice magical force field glow around you while the spell is active.

Clearly a case of due cause to invoke the third paragraph of the Perceiving Magic rules (pg 281).

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I also personally apply this to the ghostly Mostly invisible hands you get from the magic fingers spell to sight some specific examples.

More power to you.


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How ever there are some spells Like body glove, which is the Armor spell with a slightly higher drain code the specifies its the stealth ops version of the armor spell that functions like the armor spell in all ways just with out the distinctive glowing forcefield effect so you can have it active without the glow in the dark problem that prevents you from sneaking around.

Citation would be appreciated, but going off what you're saying if it's just an Armor spell without the language that it has a visible glowing field, then we're back to the first two paragraphs of the Perceiving Magic rules.  Just as a guard noticing "something magic is afoot" when an invisible target is lurking nearby doesn't invalidate invisibility magic, a guard "noticing something magic is afoot" doesn't invalidate sneaking armor in to someplace you're presumably not supposed/encouraged to have it.

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Also as pointed out pretty much the entire illusion school of magic gets invalidated by this approach....

Aaaaaaaaand... no it doesn't.  Not because I say so btw, because you failed to provide citations that support your claim.  And some of your claims (like you only get a chance to perceive a Deflection spell if you happen to shoot a bullet and might notice the deflection) are demonstrably false.

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In the end you are choosing to read and interpret the rules a little different then most people I know who play the game. And that is ok and its always a learning process when you sit down at a new table to feel out the GM and see how he handles things. That being said they way you are interpreting things is so self defeating I cant accept that that is how it should work.

I don't see where there's something to object to in the assertation that "according to the SR rules governing Perceiving Magic, on pages 280-281 of the 5th Ed Core Rulebook, any magic is potentially perceptible".  May not be popular, may not jive with prior editions (and I'm not prepared to agree it's novel to 5th, just no point in arguing about prior editions) and hell maybe it is game changing.  Nothing wrong with any of this.

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Its like saying every point of armor you have give results in +1 DV when ever your shot.

No, no it isn't.  Me pointing out the rules as they are written isn't like you making up entirely new rules.

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Your making the only viable play style for a mage to be the pink mohawk combat mage that just floats down the middle of the street and is visible form low orbit by your naked eye because he is lit up brighter then most million candle spot lights because of his sustained spells.

I'm not making anyone walk around with say, Force 10 or 12 sustained (or quickened!) Attribute Modification spells.  If you're doing stuff like that, then you're already playing Pink Mohawk.

Honestly, if you're going to use magic in a Black Trenchcoat game, you need a rule like the Perceiving Magic, or else there's no incentive to ever use magical analogues to holdout pistols rather than assault cannons.

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...I cant influence the guards to do anything because as soon as he walks back in the guard shack and says everything is fine the other guards go Ohh your covered in magic sparkles hit the panic button and call in magic back up etc.

If we're going to be hyperbolic about what each other is claiming by implication, then allow me to shed a tear for Mages being inferior to dedicated Faces and Covert Ops Specialists at Faces' and Covert Ops Specialists' own jobs. :)

But to treat your comment with the seriousness that I'm sure you'd want:  lets say you do influence the guard to do something, and while he fails to resist he does succeed on noticing the spell.  Doesn't mean he's going to go press the panic button instead of what you influenced him to do via the spell.  Come on now.

Edit:  In fairness, didn't notice your complaint was about the other guards hitting the panic button.  Yeah, that's kind of the intended point about the Perceiving Magic rules, imo.  You need a better plan than "have the Mage cast a spell at the problem".   You'll have to incorporate your magic into a plan rather than being the plan all by itself.  I see absolutely no problem with this.
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Only the higher end end establishments are going to have magical security. Remember magical security is a SELLERS market. There are more clubs in Seattle then there are adepts and mages or magically active people of any kind. And mages / adepts of any significant power get PAID. They are not working as a bouncer in some shitty club in the barrens when they can be making a six figure salary working in some corporate gig. And to be clear even if they have a bad record and other employment problems if they have enough talent the corps will sweep that under the rug by issuing them a new SIN and or just getting the charges dropped / suppressed and or purged from the record etc.

Magic is rare, the demand for it way out strips the supply of it by several orders of magnitude. Now any moderately successful club can have some basic wards up as thats a pay a ward smith for upkeep on a ward that he stops by to renew once a month kinda thing or splurge and get a permanent ward by paying the 12 month contract up front kinda thing but actively having some one who can astrally perceive with any skill is the province of higher end establishments as that is a highly sought after and in demand skill.
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Rules and such / Re: Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?
« Last post by SunRunner on Today at 10:42:39 »
I am generally with Marcus. You can notice spells when they are cast and in some other specified circumstances. Noticing spirits are present in the Astral is called out as being fluffy and mostly tied to the spirits being lazy and actually touching the mundanes aura, not if its sitting quietly in a corner no one is near. Also as Marcus pointed out if sustained spells are just obvious its self defeating. It also makes a bunch of meta magics worthless as he pointed out. The whole let me invest 2 metamagics worth of initiation(masking & extended masking) into it so that even mages cant tell I have physical mask up is unless they manage to break my masking meta magic or resist my physical mask spell is self defeating when they go i beat a thresh hold 1 perception test to see the magical sparkles around you because you cast a bad ass force 8 physical mask spell. It means mages are by default the Pinkest of Pink Mohawk characters unless and untill they get to a spell casting skill of 10+ so that even medium force spells require at least 3 or 4 hits to notice.

They have some specific rules like if your the target of a mental manipulation spell that get around this, also some of the spell descriptions themselves imply noticable effects that I would use to apply the notice a spell rules even when its being sustained. The armor spell is one of the top of my head as the spell description clearly states you have a nice magical force field glow around you while the spell is active. I also personally apply this to the ghostly Mostly invisible hands you get from the magic fingers spell to sight some specific examples. How ever there are some spells Like body glove, which is the Armor spell with a slightly higher drain code the specifies its the stealth ops version of the armor spell that functions like the armor spell in all ways just with out the distinctive glowing forcefield effect so you can have it active without the glow in the dark problem that prevents you from sneaking around. Also as pointed out pretty much the entire illusion school of magic gets invalidated by this approach, the whole point of them is you cant tell they are there unless you resist them which puts you into a catch 22 death spiral of I need high force so they are not resisted but if they are high force then every one just makes a basic perception test to see my magic sparkles. Thats why the illusion school has the realistic and obvious key words, cause some of the illusions have the obvious key word which means any one whos encounters the illusion knows its not real even if they dont resist it. The also have spells like deflection that state the effects are not really noticeable visually speaking but the results are noticeable, IE they state when some one is just sitting there making no attempt to dodge you shooting them but happens to have a force 12 deflection spell up so you keep missing them eventually you kinda get clued in something is going on that you cant see.

In the end you are choosing to read and interpret the rules a little different then most people I know who play the game. And that is ok and its always a learning process when you sit down at a new table to feel out the GM and see how he handles things. That being said they way you are interpreting things is so self defeating I cant accept that that is how it should work. Its like saying every point of armor you have give results in +1 DV when ever your shot. its like so If I am naked and the guy shoots me with a hold out pistol I only have to deal with 4 DV but because I am in heavy security armor I have to deal with 19 DV. WTF am I wearing armor for, its self defeating. Your making the only viable play style for a mage to be the pink mohawk combat mage that just floats down the middle of the street and is visible form low orbit by your naked eye because he is lit up brighter then most million candle spot lights because of his sustained spells. I cant influence the guards to do anything because as soon as he walks back in the guard shack and says everything is fine the other guards go Ohh your covered in magic sparkles hit the panic button and call in magic back up etc.
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Rules and such / Re: Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?
« Last post by Marcus on Today at 09:07:15 »
That's a lot of sometimes ...
I updated the post to use the word "can" instead. Much better. Thanks for your comment :)


Oh Look another person who doesn't believes invisibility shouldn't work lol. I guess that group will be bigger then just SSDR, and Sphinx.
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That I agree with (and its why I'm dropping the other part of the discussion). That's actually the case for a lot of shadowrun qualities I've noticed. Both good and bad the actual cost seems to be fairly random and its up to the GM make them worth the points.

I mean look at the spirit hunter mastery quality it requires 4 points in astral combat a specialization (I think) in spirits and 20 points of karma to suppress their abilities for 2 combat turns if you successfully use the banishing skill (more points) or damage it with the killing hands (more points) ability. Then there's the prime data haven quality or commone sense quality. That last one requires the GM to warn you if your doing something foolish a number of times equal to your edge. Don't even get me started on the rank quality I'm not even sure if that's positive, negative or something else.

Anyway all other discussions aside as Xenon said what makes it worth 25 points (or not) is the GM playing it and that again varies per group.
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