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Question on Astral Signatures: I sense a disturbance in the force

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Xenon

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« Reply #15 on: (17:13:27/06-12-18) »
When talking about Counterspelling you are probably talking about Spell Defense (you also use Counterspelling for Dispelling).

In this edition Spell Defense is actually declared at the time you (or anyone in your line of sight) are being targeted by a hostile spell (during the Declare Action phase of the hostile magician) or as soon as you (or anyone in your line of sight) are called upon to oppose a spell (if for example your movement put you in the area of effect of a sustained spell). You may declare Spell Defense as a Free Action (which you are allowed to take out of order, but normally only once per action phase) or as an Interrupt action costing 5 initiative score (which you are also allowed to take out of order).

Game Mechanic wise there does not seem to be a requirement that you need to be using Astral Perception or Notice Magic with a regular perception test or even have the offending magician within line of sight to use spell defense. In fact you are even allowed to spend a Free Action or Interrupt Action to declare Spell Defense as soon as you walk into the area of effect of a Detect Enemies spell (even if you are unaware of the spell and you don't even see the subject that is sustaining the spell).


SR5 p. 294-295 Spell Defense
Spell Defense Spell defense is used against hostile spells cast at you or at targets that are within your line of sight (using the same rules as for targeting spells) that you decide to protect with spell defense. Declaring this protection is either a Free Action or, if you don’t have one left, an Interrupt Action that reduces your Initiative Score by 5. Each Combat Turn, you have a pool of dice for spell defense equal to your Counterspelling skill. When a spell is cast, you may choose to use some or all of your Counterspelling dice to defend against an incoming spell. Against each spell attack, you have to choose how many dice from this pool to allocate for defense, and you can select how many people (including yourself if you desire) are covered by these defensive dice. You can protect a number of people at one time equal to your Magic Rating. These dice are then added to the defense tests of everyone you’re covering. The pool refreshes at the beginning of each Combat Turn.

SR5 p. 285 Detection Spells
Counterspelling may be used to defend against active detection spells, even if the target is unaware of them being cast (for example, if they walk within range of an active Detect Enemies spell).

Counterspelling cannot be used to defend against a passive sense, but once an opposing spellcaster realizes there is an active sustained spell, she can try dispelling it (see Dispelling, p. 295).

SR5 p. 295 Example
Chordae’s team is fighting a wiz gang. She has a Counterspelling skill of 7, which means she has 7 bonus spell defense dice to use each Combat Turn. Early in the Combat Turn she is targeted by a Manabolt spell, so she decides to use 3 Counterspelling dice to help fend it off. As a result, she adds 3 dice to her Defense Test against the spell.


Rosa

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« Reply #16 on: (21:53:41/06-12-18) »
Sigh. ....another example of 5th edition hosing up and not fixing it.

This essentially allows a mage and by extention the whole group to more or less bypass the rules for noticing magic since the GM is basically required to inform the mage that there's a spell incoming and do you want to use spell defense? Same thing if they walk into the range of an active detection spell. And presumably this works the other way around when the PC mage uses magic against any adversaries with a mage in their group.

And also what actually constitutes a hostile spell? Because this has some ramifications.

So all mages DO apparently sense disturbances in the force or have a tingling magic spidey sense. This worked so much better in 4th edition. .......
« Last Edit: (21:59:29/06-12-18) by Rosa »

ChromeCoyote

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« Reply #17 on: (23:38:18/06-12-18) »
We've always had a soft sort of GM intervention where if you use magic at a significantly high force it draws attention. Kinda like jedi going "I sense a disturbance in the force"

I'm not going to touch the rest of this, because X already gave it to ya. (See what I did there? ;D )

On this particular note, however, I feel like I should mention spell "Detect Magic" (SR5 Core p. 287) and the "Magic Sense" (which does the same thing, SG p. 172) adept power. They seem to, mechanically, be meant to give the character exactly this ability because the character should not already have it. Basically, it sounds to me like the group is being given one or both of these for free. As a player, score! As a GM, be careful what you give away, but it's your table.

Beta

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« Reply #18 on: (12:24:05/06-13-18) »
Sigh. ....another example of 5th edition hosing up and not fixing it.
.......
So all mages DO apparently sense disturbances in the force or have a tingling magic spidey sense. This worked so much better in 4th edition. .......

Out of curiousity, how did it work in 4th?  (I'm not in love with how it is working in my game, even with house rules -- open to other options for house ruling it)

Xenon

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« Reply #19 on: (07:35:53/06-14-18) »
This essentially allows a mage and by extention the whole group to more or less bypass the rules for noticing magic since the GM is basically required to inform the mage that there's a spell incoming and do you want to use spell defense?

Note that you are generally not allowed to spend the Free Action (or Interrupt Action) necessarily to use Spell Defense while you are Surprised


SR5 p. 163 Free Actions
A character may only take a Free Action prior to his first Action Phase in the Initiative Pass if they are not surprised (see Surprise, p. 192).

SR5 p. 167 Interrupt Actions
A character may only take an Interrupt Action prior to their first Action Phase if they are not surprised (see Surprise, p. 192).

SunRunner

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« Reply #20 on: (08:37:28/06-14-18) »
1st to get counterspelling dice to help resist a detection spell or illusion they must have spent the action on spell defense before they encountered the spell.
2nd when your using spell defense against anything your not aware off, I.E. resisting a detection spell or an illusion spell for instance its a 4th wall problem, and ALL role playing games are littered with 4th wall meta gaming problems. its the same boat of it the GM starts asking everyone to make perception tests, the party immediately knows something is up. D&D is no different when the DM starts having eveone make will saves etc., when as far as the party knows they are just walking in the forest or some other supposedly harmless environment. The only thing spell defense changes is that the party knows what ever is up is magical in nature specifically and can generally apply meta game knowledge on the nature of the unknown based on the resistance test its self, but then they kinda got that as soon as the GM starts making everyone roll dice. There is not a alot of call in the game to roll Logic + Willpower except to resist spells, same with Logic + Intuition, which between those to rolls you have covered resisting all Illusion spells, all Mental Manipulation spells, all active detection spells, as well as most of the Critter powers that have similar effects.

And remember there are two specific and different uses of the counter spelling skill, 1st is spell defense which is mana chaff and the 2nd is actually honest to goodness counter spelling which is directly targeting a spell you are aware of and trying to disrupt it.

Its why as a GM it can be a good idea to know your players stats and roll the resist checks for them. Combine this will compulsively rolling dice all the time and they dont know when its for real or when your just rolling dice. The flip side is to call on your players to roll different dice pools (Perception, Logic+Will, Logic +Intuition)  frequently even when nothing is up. I tend to go with the 1st option as the 2nd tends to reduce the players to paranoid schizos convinced they are being stalked by an army of invisible ninja assassins and can drag the game down.
« Last Edit: (08:44:07/06-14-18) by SunRunner »