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Looking for ideas: How to keep Lightning Ball from "winning" SRM?

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat:

--- Quote from: ShadowcatX on ---Also, if you're dealing with initiates that have enough karma to raise their magic to 7 and bond foci that help with drain (hint: there's only one anti-drain focus and it isn't available until after becoming an initiate and only if you take that metamagic) you are dealing with virtual gods, don't be surprised starter level adventures aren't especially challenging.

--- End quote ---

You're talking about the centering focus?  Hrm.  I think they may be using Power Foci to enhance their drain pools.  I suppose the language "any test where Magic is involved" is a world of difference from "any test where magic is involved".  Capital M infers a formal rules concept/mechanic, as opposed to the descriptive lowercase m.  I suppose I see the argument that since Drain doesn't invoke the Magic attribute, the Power Focus doesn't help on Drain?

It would have to be mystic adept, I hate those things. Adrenaline boost maxed yea that would work.

I mean you could easily develop a lot situations and put together some scenario where they go off book and then you can put the in kind
 of opposition that could put them down but it will be fairly obvious and odds are you will kill any low karma players with them if ya go to that kinda ball. But the easier option is just let Neo-tokyo arrive and retire those characters. Other solutions just go hard on background counts. They are running adepts so -5 dice everything the do. Won't break those character but it'll slow down a little.

But honestly i would really do collateral damage thing. Common sense says you just don't throw that kinda of damage in AoE.  Hitting runs in the rep and in the karma score is much more educational then try to beat stick them. Most player want tough fights, so doing that gives them what they want.

Power foci add to magic so only casting and summoning tests. Drain is pure attribute and meta-magic, where have you been SSDR not to know that?

you need to have those enemies use the interrupt action: run for your life from Run and Gun to avoid AoE attacks.

but really your main problem is your are playing an unmodified version of the rules with some people who are apparently good at optimizing characters/ have a bunch of karma.

i've been playing since 1e.

in order to not make magic OP in 5e you need to do a few things:

1). ban MAs
2). ban Quickening
3). ban channeling and possession traditions
4). put a cap on the total force of spirits in use at any one time (we use (magic+initiate grade)x2)
5). use background counts

without the above modifications you will continue to have a single mage render the rest of the party irrelevant. the mage might as well do the run by himself and take all the money for himself.

That's all well and good Adzling, but you can't do most of that in the SRM paradigm. So you gotta manage that nonsense.
Teaching players to chill i think is the safer way to go. Quickening is easily solvable, possession is a lot weaker then it was in the past editions, and is also solvable, and MA sadly for them suffer from Adept background count problems, so just run background counts, in Chicago your free to have all kinds of background counts.

Quickening you truce and if anyone pushes it, you just dispel it and loss the spent karma. They will get the message .
Possession solves itself, just have their spirit start doing things they don't want, loss of agency is a strong motivator.

Yeah power foci add dice to any test that involves your magic attribute, which is not a drain test, only centering and centering foci add to those. Also bear in mind that centering is the opposite of subtle, so any spell casters using centering will be very obvious.

You should absolutely change the scenarios to provide some extra challenge. There's already been mentioned some good suggestions,  but remember the good old axiom "anything the players can do,  the opposition can do too ", also spirits,  visibility, surprise, background count. ....etc.  are all examples of things that can make life a little bit harder and ultimately more fun. My GM recently dropped a high force shadow spell into the fight area which was very cramped, it made the fight much more intense and difficult and ultimately more fun.


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