Shadowrun

Shadowrun Missions Living Campaign => Living Campaign Discussion => Topic started by: Anatoly Trolling Thunder on (20:09:37/06-18-18)

Title: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Anatoly Trolling Thunder on (20:09:37/06-18-18)
Zdravstvuyte everyone!

First-time caller here, love the show!

I was wondering if there was a consensus on how quickening works in Missions games.  I noted at Origins this week that there were PC's offering to quicken spells on other PC's for 25K nuyen.  I assume the business model of the PC was to quicken spells for cash and then in turn buy more karma.  Works for me, but it raised some questions about hitting the limit for total Karma earned and hitting Prime Runner status too soon.  Our team is focused on fun play at the convention table and roleplaying and don't want to get to that point too soon.

Our team, The Pirates of Piz'zazz, has someone capable of doing quickening and we started talking about the implications for campaign balance.  So my questions are:

1.  Is it possible for a PC to pay the karma cost for a Spellcaster PC to quicken a spell?
2.  As above, but the PC paying a NPC in karma or nuyen?
3.  If a PC pays another to quicken a spell, to which character does the cost get added to the total karma earned?

We're worried about our support mage hitting prime runner status before the rest of the team.

=M=

Michael

Season 5:  Anatoly, Bass Guitarist, Trolling Thunder
Season 6:  Lori, Pod rigger and Sky Pirate
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (20:25:25/06-18-18)
In short:

1. A PC is allowed to Quicken spells on themselves, as well as other PCs. The PC doing the Quickening must pay all of the Karma costs, however.

2. No PC can receive cash greater than 5,000 nuyen per Mission from another PC. This is in the FAQ.

3. Beginning with Neo-Tokyo, the nuyen to karma rate of exchange is 4,000 to 1. In no case may a PC earn more than 5 additional karma per Mission through this exchange.

So in closing, the Origins folks you speak of did not quit handle the situation by the allowed parameters of the campaign.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Michael Chandra on (04:02:30/06-19-18)
So it's possible to make a profit but it's only 25%. Check! And you won't be Masked so the spells are visible and dispellable with just 1 net hit. Not to mention you run into the problem of mana barriers you can't see. Better convince them to overcast!

I once designed an npc who paid both initially and upkeep for masked spells. Divine dodge chances and initiative followed. It's nice to make a pseudo-ally that players fear.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (08:38:39/06-19-18)
Mana Barriers can be a real problem if you have more than a couple of Quickened spells, but dispelling them is exceptionally hard. That resist of Magic + Force + Karma spent is really hard to compete with.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Michael Chandra on (09:03:05/06-19-18)
Unless they overcast, can't recall if you can do that in SRM in downtime, it's normally 13 dice and 1 net hit kills the spell. And since spells are dual natured, it would be doable from the astral?
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (09:15:09/06-19-18)
No restriction on overcasting at present, just the need to buy hits (which is smart). Low tier PCs this won't make a significant difference, but may make dispelling next to impossible on higher karma ones with high Magic ratings and good drain pools.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (17:08:32/06-19-18)
...So in closing, the Origins folks you speak of did not quit handle the situation by the allowed parameters of the campaign.

That guy doing the quicken thing would have been me.  Hrm.  I ran into folks in 5th edition doing quickening for all sorts of wonky prices during the Chicago seasons, so I thought I'd work it into my character persona and 'sales pitch'.  I even looked over the FAQ to make sure there were no problems.  I guess either the older FAQ didn't have that...or I just missed it.  Either way...there shouldn't be a problem with the folks I buffed.  Just me.  I'll need to figure out how to 'correct' things, if needed.

I may have missed it because it was worked in with the FAQ about a character dumping all his nuyen and retiring...which was definitely not what was going on (or in the spirit of the thing).

In any case...so there seem to be three sections of the FAQ which delve into this section:

Pg 22.

If I Quicken a spell during play, do I buy hits or can I spend Edge and Reagents and roll my skill as normal?

You must buy hits and cannot use Edge or reagents.

(no issues there)

Pg 24.

Can my friends and I pool money to purchase something?

Yes, of course! Just be sure that each of you marks off the appropriate money for the item. However, one person
needs to be the actual owner of the item, and if that person is not present for the game session, then neither is the item.
So carefully consider what youíre going to split the costs on, and who you split it with!

(Well this one seems odd.  I did this in one of the scenarios - got a fancy-shamcy car, which was totally what I was not originally planning for the character, but still kind of cool.  However...I could still get 'paid' for quickening using this method.  However...that seems to be counter to the spirit of the whole thing.)

Pg. 25

Can we trade money or gear between players?

Yes, but only within reason. Giving someone an extra gun, or spotting them an extra 1,000• for some gear
because theyíre short is no big deal. However, you should not be giving away large, expensive items or large sums of nuyen. This is primarily to prevent abuse in games where someone is just sitting in to play a session or two, so they just dump their gear and money on their teammates at the end of the game since theyíre not planning to play that character anymore.

To set a hard limit on this, gamemasters should not allow players to give away more than 5,000• worth of cash
and 5,000• in gear (using base book value for the gear) per game session.

(Well, that's not totally clear either.  Not allowing players to 'give away' money is different then paying for services.  Like, could you buy another player's cyberdeck?  That's certainly more than 5k.  Also, wouldn't that possibly conflict with the whole 'group buying something, which is owned by one guy' rule?  It looks like the spirit of this whole thing was to avoid the whole 'create a character, dump his stuff, and retire' thing...and that's definitely not happening)

Candyman
Fixer and Fence

Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (17:11:41/06-19-18)
...And you won't be Masked so the spells are visible and dispellable with just 1 net hit. Not to mention you run into the problem of mana barriers you can't see. Better convince them to overcast!...

My spells are extended masked...and overcast, based on the target's request.

I made a little cheat sheet for folks, which lists the basic rules on quickened spells (like what is needed to get through a mana barrier, and the difficulties of if a caster tries to dispel the spell).  The cheat sheet was different from the sheet of 'prices' I made up.

That's right...handouts galore!

Candyman

Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (17:26:20/06-19-18)
Our team, The Pirates of Piz'zazz, has someone capable of doing quickening and we started talking about the implications for campaign balance.  So my questions are:

1.  Is it possible for a PC to pay the karma cost for a Spellcaster PC to quicken a spell?
2.  As above, but the PC paying a NPC in karma or nuyen?
3.  If a PC pays another to quicken a spell, to which character does the cost get added to the total karma earned?

We're worried about our support mage hitting prime runner status before the rest of the team.


A couple of thoughts for y'all's group...

If you wanted a method of payment higher than the 5k, you could always set up a 'payment plan' (such as 5k per game, or whatever y'all decided).  But then again, since the mage in the group is part of your 'crew', he may not care as much about making money on the whole thing.

Also, retirement is not a mandatory thing.  He will certainly outdistance y'all in terms of karma earned in the lifetime...but he can still play with you, even if he's over 150 karma earned in his lifetime.

Two recommendations - he should also pick up extended masking as soon as possible...and probably also pick up flux ASAP (at least for his own spells), to avoid mana barriers.  Also keep in mind - a charisma buff, even if the character is not charisma-focused, will help in getting through wards.  You'll have to the weigh the benefits, though, so that's not always the best option.

Candyman

 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Michael Chandra on (17:31:45/06-19-18)
Masked is real hard to validate, since there's a restriction on how many you can Mask. So 'you bought a Quickened spell and the gm signed off on it', sure. But 'the seller has explicitly logged each Masked spell and the GM knows in advance to know how many spells they can still mask in that run, and the current GM can rely on that the #masked was validated properly by the previous GM', not very much.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (20:57:21/06-19-18)
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on (21:21:46/06-19-18)
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.

And I'm not sure how can force them to keep paying you installments at subsequent sessions if they decide they don't want to keep paying, either.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Marcus on (01:31:42/06-20-18)
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.

And I'm not sure how can force them to keep paying you installments at subsequent sessions if they decide they don't want to keep paying, either.

You can't "Force" it.  You could probably dispel it, should they fail to live up to their end of the deal, but the whole things hover much to close to pvp imo.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Xenon on (02:18:45/06-20-18)
Normally there would be risk involved leaving your astral signature on an active links leading straight back to you ... and on multiple runners you just briefly met on a job once a long time ago.

Hooks like this have limited risk in Missions game play (which is why it should probably not be allowed there).
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (09:31:50/06-20-18)
Personally, if I didn't believe the player could be trusted to live up to their end of the bargain, then I just wouldn't perform the Quickening for them.

I believe that the Chicago Season did a fine job of regulating Quickening. My Prime Runner has something like 20 spells at huge Force Quickened on him. Because of that, there have been numerous times between SIN/Licensing situations, socially acceptable/not situations, mana barriers, need for great subtelty, ect. that I had to choose between be incredibly overt just by being present, or sit in the van for a few. On that particular character, I traded the ability to be subtle and participate in every scene for incredible power.

Now that choice is not for everyone, nor should it be. The important factor is having the option, and appropriate benefits and drawbacks being available for each choice. I had fun with it on that particular character, and I certainly felt the social drawbacks in almost every Mission.

Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (11:14:28/06-20-18)
Uh... in Neo-Tokyo doesn't your SIN get burned if your Astral signature get spotted during a crime?  There is simply no way to enforce that across multiple tables...

Hey Bob, sorry, burned your SIN on my last run.  Hope you've got extras.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (12:26:02/06-20-18)
Masked is real hard to validate, since there's a restriction on how many you can Mask. So 'you bought a Quickened spell and the gm signed off on it', sure. But 'the seller has explicitly logged each Masked spell and the GM knows in advance to know how many spells they can still mask in that run, and the current GM can rely on that the #masked was validated properly by the previous GM', not very much.

I don't have my books in front of me, but I believe Extended Masking covers a limited number of focuses...but there is no stated limit on spells.

Quote from: Marcus
You can't "Force" it.  You could probably dispel it, should they fail to live up to their end of the deal, but the whole things hover much to close to pvp imo.

I agree.  This is completely a voluntary thing.  It would work well for the groups that play together a lot - such as the pirate elves.  Or you just agree to a low amount.  <shrug>  There are limits in Missions play, and you have to work within those limits...so if that means coordinating to play together, then that's what you do.  There are 14 new missions out - a lot of opportunities to get together.

Personally, I gave my contact information to everyone (and got their own contact info), so we can coordinate together.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Ktonberry249 on (12:52:55/06-20-18)
I have always applied the same limit of force(up to your magic) and number(up to your initiate grade) to spells just as i would to foci with extended masking. I don't see that it works as intended any other way. The "items" is referencing all new uses that extended masking applies to, but i think its definitely something that needs a concrete ruling on since the above  interpretation is not something i have ever heard.

"Extended masking extends your masking to include anchored, sustained, or quickened spells; imbued or attuned items; or alchemical preparations that are in the magicianís possession. The magician may mask a number of items up to his initiate grade (this is in addition to bonded foci). Each item masked in this way must have a Force less than the magicianís Magic attribute. As per the masking rules, an Opposed Assensing test is required to view such items. If the observer fails to gain any net hits, the masked items appear to the observer as normal fluctuations in the background count."
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (13:01:22/06-20-18)
urm masking only applies to the magician's own aura.

you can't mask someone else's (nor flux nor any other metamagic have applied to it).

so masking quickened spells cast on other people is clearly not possible.

regardless missions should just outright ban quickening, most mission GMs apparently have no idea how to handle quickening properly (i.e. you can't just walk around with quickened combat spells, or any really, without drawing  attention) + it's that borked.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Xenon on (14:24:32/06-20-18)
Masking applies to the magicians own aura.

Masking also applies to the magicians own astral form (while using astral perception or astral projection the magician can change his or her astral form so it look like another astral form; for example the astral form of a spirit or an active focus).

Masking also applies to the aura of up to initiate grade number of bounded foci (no requirement on the force or that they have to be in the magician’s possession).


My take on this is that you may use Masking to hide the magical aura of your non-active bounded foci from other magicians (by making them look mundane) but you cannot hide or change their astral form once you activate them.




Extended Masking applies to the aura of active (explicitly anchored, sustained and quickened) spells (no requirement on number of spells, the force of the spells nor that the target of the spells have to be the magician).

Extended Masking also applies to the aura of up to initiate grade number of imbued or attuned items and alchemical preparations that are in the magician’s possession (in addition to bounded foci). Force of the items must be less than the magician's Magic



Personally I don't think Extended Masking make sense since both active spells and alchemical preparations have astral forms. Changing the aura so it look mundane would be pointless since the astral form would be obvious for anyone that can sense the astral.

Even if it was changed so that you can use Extended Masking to also change the astral form to another astral form (so an active spell look like an active focus or an alchemical preparations look like a spirit) will not really help you look mundane either.

My guess is that it is not the same author that wrote Masking that wrote Extended Masking....
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (19:56:45/06-20-18)
"...To evade HTR Teams, characters must clear any evidence of their presence first and then depart from the
location. Failure to clear evidence of their presence results in all active Fake SINs being immediately burned. Anyone
operating under a real SIN is arrested after completion of the Mission. Evidence includes astral signatures, video
footage, and eyewitnesses who can recognize the characters later. If their SIN has already been burned due to failing
a SIN check, they do not lose an additional SIN..."

To my earlier point.  Any survivors that were able to Assense the team will result in a burned SIN for the Mage that quickened a spell.  That seems somewhere between difficult and impossible to account for.  Especially for a wandering Mage at a Con that'll possibly never be seen again. 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Marcus on (22:19:26/06-20-18)
How do you link an Astral Signature to a SIN?
As I understand it, You can't put an Astral Signature into a database, you ether make the Assensing test to learn it and later recognize it, or you don't. Now you can do some fairly trouble some stuff to locate a mage with a given signature; so sure if a mage cop gets your signature you got problems. But I'm not sure I follow how that burns a SIN?

They show up and you're like naa Bro, it wasn't me. it was some other dude with my totally unique astral signature?
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (10:24:28/06-21-18)
"...Failure to clear evidence..."  Presumably there is a time period of investigation where the runners are tracked down and SINs are torched. 

Basically the same thing would happen if a mage who is present had his/her signature assensed, the SIN gets burned.  Why the SIN gets burned and not jail time?  Because that's the penalty the Mission team has decided on.  If it were a home game jail time and such would be on the table, but the Mission team went with "Burn a SIN" for a bunch of reasons I'm sure.

If Shadowrun corps/law enforcement actually went full on magic and super tech CSI on Shadowrunners the game would be real short  : )    Tokyo is a little tougher on Runners, but it's still Shadowrun.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on (10:30:44/06-21-18)
How do you link an Astral Signature to a SIN?
As I understand it, You can't put an Astral Signature into a database, you ether make the Assensing test to learn it and later recognize it, or you don't. Now you can do some fairly trouble some stuff to locate a mage with a given signature; so sure if a mage cop gets your signature you got problems. But I'm not sure I follow how that burns a SIN?

They show up and you're like naa Bro, it wasn't me. it was some other dude with my totally unique astral signature?

NTPD sees the aftermath of the magic. They put magic forensics on the case and a NTPD mage gets your sig.  That NTPD mage tracks you down to wherever you are post-run and directs mundane cops there.  You're busted.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (10:58:55/06-21-18)
In short, it might not be the most realistic consequence, but it is a reasonable one. In Chicago, PCs could be fairly careless in their runs so long as everything that could live to tell the tale didn't. I personally like the fact that in this Season (and hopefully moving forward) you have to use a little more discretion and care.

For general spellcasting, this should rarely be a problem. It takes HTR 1d6+2 combat turns to respond. That leaves plenty of Initiative passes prior to scrub away signatures.

The FAQ specifically states "Magic is common in Neo-Tokyo and simply using it may not be enough to garner any attention. Combat Magic higher than Force 3, any Mental Manipulation, and other uses of magic at the discretion of the GM
may garner attention from astral surveillance.". So casting such spells in the streets will almost certainly lead to a SIN check encounter for legality of those restricted spells. But just having some Quickened Detection, Health, or defensive Manipulation spells on yourself? That should fly under the radar.

Finally, another important note from the FAQ: "Two important caveats to Magical Surveillance are that adept powers donít have astral signatures that can be read like spells and that NTMP watcher spirits will never patrol inside of privately owned buildings and will ignore magic that is cast on extra-territorial properties.".
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (12:40:58/06-21-18)

Finally, another important note from the FAQ: "Two important caveats to Magical Surveillance are that adept powers donít have astral signatures that can be read like spells and that NTMP watcher spirits will never patrol inside of privately owned buildings and will ignore magic that is cast on extra-territorial properties.".

Finally Extra-territoriality is paying dividends to the Shadowrunner community.... :P

But yeah, a Mage can pay attention and clean stuff up.  A Mundane running around with Sustained/Quickened magic won't even be aware they're under magical observation potentially.  Caveat Venditor.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (12:59:47/06-21-18)
ok im going to unpack this, bear with me cause there's a lot here, so here we go

Masking applies to the magicians own aura.

Masking also applies to the magicians own astral form (while using astral perception or astral projection the magician can change his or her astral form so it look like another astral form; for example the astral form of a spirit or an active focus).

agreed, you can also use it to make you look like a mudane or whatever else (a fly, a spirit etc).

Masking also applies to the aura of up to initiate grade number of bounded foci

agreed

(no requirement on the force or that they have to be in the magicianís possession).

this is unlikely the intent or useful as a ruling.
Masking is specifically about editing your aura and the magical things you carry (foci).
Imho it would be far more logical if the foci leaves your presence it's no longer part of your aura and so therefore not subject to being masked. This is also true if you fall unconscious or go to sleep, your masking is no longer active. If this were not true then you could maintain masking on your foci wherever they are in the world, no matter how long ago you touched them. which is clearly nutso.

My take on this is that you may use Masking to hide the magical aura of your non-active bounded foci from other magicians (by making them look mundane) but you cannot hide or change their astral form once you activate them.

I disagree with this as it's clearly against RAW where it specifically says you can make your aura look like anything you want (and by extension your bound foci).

Extended Masking applies to the aura of active (explicitly anchored, sustained and quickened) spells (no requirement on number of spells, the force of the spells nor that the target of the spells have to be the magician).

Extended Masking also applies to the aura of up to initiate grade number of imbued or attuned items and alchemical preparations that are in the magicianís possession (in addition to bounded foci). Force of the items must be less than the magician's Magic

agreed

Personally I don't think Extended Masking make sense since both active spells and alchemical preparations have astral forms. Changing the aura so it look mundane would be pointless since the astral form would be obvious for anyone that can sense the astral.

the above supposition is only correct if you deny that foci and auras cannot be disguised to look mundane. which is not the case afaik. therefore I disagree.

Even if it was changed so that you can use Extended Masking to also change the astral form to another astral form (so an active spell look like an active focus or an alchemical preparations look like a spirit) will not really help you look mundane either.

again this relies on your interpretation that masking cannot make a magically active person look mundane. lore and raw say otherwise afaik.

My guess is that it is not the same author that wrote Masking that wrote Extended Masking....

probably correct.

back to the issue at hand, I still hold that because Masking (and Extended Masking) is meant to allow you to change your aura (and any magical effects or items attached thereof) and moreover that it ceases when you fall unconscious or go to sleep that therefore using Masking on quickened spells you place on others is not viable. Their aura is not yours. Masking is personal not a service you can offer to other people.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (13:44:16/06-21-18)
A Mundane running around with Sustained/Quickened magic won't even be aware they're under magical observation potentially.  Caveat Venditor.

While this is true, I can't imagine that most spells that a character would want Quickened on them would be cause for alarm for the NTMP. Combat Sense, Deflection, Increase Attribute, etc. are hardly cause for concern by themselves. Now, if they have offensive Quickened magic, such as Element Aura on a weapon, or the Quickened spells are at a high force, or something else along those lines? Sure.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (13:57:59/06-21-18)
why would those spells not be a cause for concern?

they are akin to wandering around in full body armor or being equipped with 'ware that boosts your agility/ strength/ whatever.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (13:59:55/06-21-18)
A Mundane running around with Sustained/Quickened magic won't even be aware they're under magical observation potentially.  Caveat Venditor.

While this is true, I can't imagine that most spells that a character would want Quickened on them would be cause for alarm for the NTMP. Combat Sense, Deflection, Increase Attribute, etc. are hardly cause for concern by themselves. Now, if they have offensive Quickened magic, such as Element Aura on a weapon, or the Quickened spells are at a high force, or something else along those lines? Sure.

RAW you can't know what spell is sustained, and you need ?3? (sorry can't recall) hits on assensing to know the type of spell Combat, Health, Manipulation, whatever.  Combat Sense could be Clairvoyance, damn pervy mages, Deflection could be any one of a number of very bad Manipulation spells, Increase Attribute spells are probably cast at a higher than force 3.  And so on and so forth. 

I think the number of useful (to Mundane PCs anyway) Health spells under force 3 is pretty limited, and those are the only things given a pass by NTMP.  And even those aren't guaranteed to be "Okay" by any given site's security. 

*shrug*  As a player I'd never try an pull that on a GM, as a GM I'd ask the player to just please don't. 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (14:12:31/06-21-18)

back to the issue at hand, I still hold that because Masking (and Extended Masking) is meant to allow you to change your aura (and any magical effects or items attached thereof) and moreover that it ceases when you fall unconscious or go to sleep that therefore using Masking on quickened spells you place on others is not viable. Their aura is not yours. Masking is personal not a service you can offer to other people.

I can't think of any MetaMagic ability that would work when the Mage is asleep/unconscious.  There probably is, but I can't think of one off the top of my head.

Additionally Masking is an opposed test and the Mage making the test would be subject to modifiers for Background count, damage taken, Foci, whatever.  No way to enforce that when the mage player has left the building, which is problematic for Missions play. 

I'm going to stick with please don't because I'd rather the Missions team work on other things than trying to figure out what to do with sustained / quickened spells from another dimension.  Because Quickening isn't even close to the only way to do this.  Bound Spirits, Sustaining Foci, Alchemical Preps kept in a Vault.  I could see players at a semi-regular Mission game just saying "Well Matt the Mage can't make it this week so he's sustaining 6 spells for us for a cut."   Just, please don't. 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (14:23:32/06-21-18)
all good points Hobbes.

imho quickening is busted and only barely countered by nuanced understanding of in-game lore which many missions GMs lack.

therefore quickening should be banned at missions.

Absent that it should be explicitly stated that you cannot Quicken a spell on someone else.

Absent even that missions should make it clearly understood that you cannot Mask an object that leaves your Aura (such as a quickened spell on someone else).

While I commend the enterprising players whose PC mage is doing this at conventions imho this is truly broken and moreover not supported by RAW nor RAI.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (15:42:56/06-21-18)
@Adzling

I disagree that they are the equivalent of full body armor. Full body armor is visible and intimidating to everyone. Non-visible magic is not, and will not disturb the vast majority of the population. If someone walked into a restaurant today in full body armor, most normal people would grow concerned or panic. If they walked in with an invisible power with no discernible effect, most people would carry on oblivious.

Those spells are more in line with attribute enhancing ware (as you mentioned), which to me just having them activate shouldn't cause concern without coupling activity to cause concern. When investigated, passing a SIN/license check should also easily dismiss the issue, again without coupling activity.

@Hobbes

First, the FAQ says Combat magic higher than Force 3 (not all magic - specifically combat, and mental manipulation of any Force).

Your point of not knowing specifically what spells are what is fair, but other than a scant few mental manipulation spells, how many negative spells are there that could be afflicting/Quickened on someone without obvious physical signs? The answer is very few.

The player should never be trying to "pull one over" on the GM. Likewise, the GM should never be trying to penalize a player simply because they don't like a valid game option the player used for their character. This isn't a competition between the player(s) and the GM. It's about fun. If the player has fun with the Quickening option for this character, that's acceptable. If the GM wants to monitor the character closely and respond to suspicious activity or blatant spell use the FAQ calls out as always getting a response, that's acceptable. Use common sense, the FAQ, and basic courtesy and things should be fine.

Quickening is a strong option, but it is hardly the only strong option - especially in Chicago where there was a near constant background count. It doesn't need a ban any more than ware does.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (18:16:46/06-21-18)
Borrowing stuff from other Missions players that aren't at the game isn't allowed.  A Rigger can't rent out his Van, a Decker can't rent out his Deck, a Mage shouldn't be hired to sustain spells.

Otherwise, player makes a full on sustain build mage slapping down as many sustains as possible.  Quickened or not, Foci, Spirits, Alchemy Preps, and just plain old concentration.  Plays once, switches to a different character.
 Or just pops in for a game when it's time to shuffle resources around.   Man just think of what you can do with an Alchemist, a "shared" Vault of Ages and enough Nuyen to afford a year of down time on your Alchemist. 

It's so very exploitable and unfair to those players who don't have a buddy with a pocket buff caster, and creates a lot of issues for a GM who in effect has an invisible PC at his table to deal with.  Also effectively lets a Player have two characters at the same game when you start pooling resources among alts.

Jebus, think of what a bunch of Technomacers could do with an army of free Machine Sprites that just run Diagnostics.  Ugh. 

Home games, do as you will of course.  I've remoted in plenty of PCs who happen to miss a game when it's made sense.  But Missions games are a different animal.

And there are dangerous sustains in every group of spells other than Health, and Neo-Tokyo has enough magic patrols flying around that it doesn't matter that muggles can't see the Astral light show.  Someone or Something can and should react to it.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (18:57:50/06-21-18)
I mean, I largely agree with your points. . .at least in terms of the scale you are talking about. Your point only applies to Quickening though, as none of the rest of those things can happen at a Missions table at present.

A PC who buys or begs one or two Quickened spells from another PC is really not a big deal.

If players were making throw away mages just to Quicken hordes of spells on non-awakened characters, then totally, that is a problem. 5 Years, hundreds of different players, and I have yet to see anything even remotely like that.

As far as our differing opinions of non-threatening Quickened spells being investigated, we will just have to agree to disagree.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (19:31:25/06-21-18)
Alchemy Preps can totally be given to another character and stored in a Vault of Ages.  Diagnostics on a Machine Sprite last until the Sprite is given another order (or defeated in cybercombat).  Face characters can use Negotiations to get gear for another character and could easily become the team fixer, just with lower mark ups and better stuff.  These could be throw away characters that are played once, and then become a downtime bookkeeping exercise, or they could be characters that are played occasionally. 

"Wow Bob's sustain bot sure worked great, hey Jane, make a Technomancer will ya?"  Ugh.   

And off the top of my head, Incubus Shroud, Clairvoyance and Interference.  Just sayin. 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Jayde Moon on (01:28:53/06-22-18)
The FAQ team will be discussing this and the resolution will be present for GenCon.

Personally, I am averse to removing player options as a general rule, so not in favor of outright banning it and am also ok with it being cast on others... but the degree to which it's been done feels like gaming the system (an amorphous 'accusation' that is hard to pin down) and also outside of the spirit of Missions.

Our choices will likely be either placing artificial controls that are justified with a shrug and "It's Missions" or ensuring that GMs are reminded of and empowered to deal with this at the table through legitimate gameplay.

Either way, it'll be sorted.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (08:34:31/06-22-18)
@Hobbes

Though I know that those things you describe are possible, again, I have yet to witness anyone actually create throw away characters to do those things. Has this been a problem in your experience, or are concerns more theoretical?
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (10:26:23/06-22-18)
The FAQ team will be discussing this and the resolution will be present for GenCon.

Personally, I am averse to removing player options as a general rule, so not in favor of outright banning it and am also ok with it being cast on others... but the degree to which it's been done feels like gaming the system (an amorphous 'accusation' that is hard to pin down) and also outside of the spirit of Missions.

Our choices will likely be either placing artificial controls that are justified with a shrug and "It's Missions" or ensuring that GMs are reminded of and empowered to deal with this at the table through legitimate gameplay.

Either way, it'll be sorted.

Great!  Jayde, can y'all shoot me a PM once a decision is reached?  I'll work out any changes that need to happen before Gen Con, and have him ready to go then.  I'm playing a few slots at Gen Con, and I'd rather not cause any further waves.  I can get together with 'official' folks at the con if needed, too.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (10:36:42/06-22-18)
...Otherwise, player makes a full on sustain build mage slapping down as many sustains as possible.  Quickened or not, Foci, Spirits, Alchemy Preps, and just plain old concentration.  Plays once, switches to a different character.
 Or just pops in for a game when it's time to shuffle resources around...

It's so very exploitable and unfair to those players who don't have a buddy with a pocket buff caster, and creates a lot of issues for a GM who in effect has an invisible PC at his table to deal with.  Also effectively lets a Player have two characters at the same game when you start pooling resources among alts.

Jebus, think of what a bunch of Technomacers could do with an army of free Machine Sprites that just run Diagnostics.  Ugh. 
...

I would call my mage a 'buffer' mage like you're suggesting...but he's my only Neo-Tokyo character, and I have no plans to make a second PC any time soon (unless I help running local Shadowrun games...and then, who knows what I'll come up with).  I had fun playing a face/fixer/fence for the group, and I didn't see any characters at any table that I could remotely call 'throwaway' characters.

I had a couple of friends that I played with during most of the con, but I didn't quicken any spells on them - but then again, I was usually buffing the group for that particular mission.  (why pay for something you're already getting each mission for free anyway?  <grimace>)

I'm not sure what the reference is to machine sprites - I already see that happening with technomancers whenever I'm at a table. Just one technomancer is enough to throw out machine sprites to everyone who needs them (which isn't necessarily everyone, since some may be unarmed adepts, sword-wielding PCs, etc.).
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: evilaustintom on (10:43:44/06-22-18)
...

Pg 24.

Can my friends and I pool money to purchase something?

Yes, of course! Just be sure that each of you marks off the appropriate money for the item. However, one person
needs to be the actual owner of the item, and if that person is not present for the game session, then neither is the item.
So carefully consider what youíre going to split the costs on, and who you split it with!
 

Coming around back to the earlier points I mentioned, I've been pondering it, and a way to handle this in the future may be to just do this (assuming the Missions heads had issues with how things were handled):  Going in on a magical focus, or vehicle, or weapon (or whatever), still works out the same...and if folks are concerned about 'working for the people', that puts a bit of a leash on that.  It also appears to not clash with any existing mission rules (unless I'm missing something ELSE <grimace>).

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (10:52:57/06-22-18)
evilaustintom regardless of whatever missions decides to do about selling quickening services (ugg) you should stop representing that you can mask their quickened spells.

that is not RAW and imho is also not RAI.

missions needs to, at minimium, clarify that in their errata/ house rules.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (10:57:53/06-22-18)
@Hobbes

Though I know that those things you describe are possible, again, I have yet to witness anyone actually create throw away characters to do those things. Has this been a problem in your experience, or are concerns more theoretical?

I've seen folks offer to Quicken spells on other players.  I've seen characters with a high Negotiations offer to work as a fixer (usually for a mark up though).  I have played at tables with a couple of mages just sustaining a bunch of spells on the team, and pretty well just steamrollered on through.  While entertaining once in a while,  Missions can't just be a series of boss fights vs teams of Force 6 to 10 Spirits.  I mean... Chicago is, but, what do you expect from Bug City...  : ) 

It becomes problematic once the behavior becomes systemic and organized.  If wandering buff mages become common at Cons the rest will follow once other folks see it, start posting, start thinking about what else could be done.   

Missions doesn't have tiers of difficulty.  GMs are expected to be able to handle brand new players with pre-gens that play along with a table of 200+Karma optimized builds.  Adding buffs and assistance from alternate timeline characters shouldn't be a problem for GMs.

Sustains and Quickening are potentially unbalancing, especially for newer GMs.  Tossing another 6 levels of Combat Sense and Increased Reflexes on every other character gets a bit too much.  And honestly isn't really necessary.  Plus it's a huge turn off for new players.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (11:11:51/06-22-18)
@Hobbes

I have seen all of those things too, and frequently - but not on throw away characters. They are on primary's and back ups when a Mission the player has already done with their main is being ran. If people build throw away characters to do those things, yes, that is troublesome.

But on primary characters? That is just good team support. The mage and alchemist should be magically buffing their team (not necessarily Quickening, but that is ok if they wish to spend their karma for it). The face should be helping his teammates to acquire superior gear.

I don't know if you know this or not, but this entire game is significantly unbalanced. It is hardly just magic. An intelligent decker can solve a few Missions without the team ever leaving the van. A street sam that fires semi-auto grenades kills one encounter. The list goes on and on.

If your concern is about these things in general, we can have that discussion. My impression from your previous posts was that you were more concerned about people gaming the system with throw away PCs?
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (11:16:38/06-22-18)
magic is far more OP than the things you described Lormyr and the nuances that counter OP magic use are poorly understood by most GMs, let alone noob GMs at missions tables whereas everyone knows you cant carry or use a GL in an urban area without severe repercussions/ HTR response.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (11:38:07/06-22-18)
I'm not saying magic isn't OP. I agree. Quickening is not the reason why, however.

I know that your beef is with magic in general, Quickening in specific. I thought that Hobbes was about the potential for throw away PCs, but I am beginning to think I was mistaken there.

I disagree that magic is "far more OP" than multiple simultaneous blasts, though. You don't even need the grenade launcher man, just use the multiple attacks option and split your dice pool with throwing. Even just using legal flash-bangs results in 20S AP-6 for 300 nuyen. That is every bit as bad as a Force 12 AoE spell, but with no risk of injuring yourself.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Marcus on (11:42:22/06-22-18)
Cons are always going to be something of a weird bag. Sure you will have serious gamers, but odds are you will also have pregens.
I don't think anything wrong with teaching mages to buff. Having a crew of mages just buff up and sustain spells across the tables is certainly a valid strategy. 

I would even say it' preferable, given that buffer mage could actually make pregens effective and that would great helping newbie enjoy the session. I can't tell you how many times I have seen the TM pregen select then the poor player is just bored to tears across the whole run.

But regardless, unless you show up to the con with your tables already fixed, and you have static team pre-arranged most every table gonna be a mix grab bag of god only knows what, and missions play is generally easy enough that it all works out regardless.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Jayde Moon on (11:47:16/06-22-18)
Combination of lack of understanding but also a reticence to be seen as unfairly punishing players for using their tools.

I can think of a lot of ways to crush various rules manipulation or gaming of the system... but I also don't want to alienate anybody, especially at a Con where the purpose is to showcase the game and grow our cult... er, create new fans.

Adding examples of how to deal with certain issues into either the FAQ or in the Missions can go a long way towards giving GMs the tools and the 'authority' to deal.

At the same time, we're not super interested in trying to mitigate every potential abuse, how exhausting that would be!
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Michael Chandra on (11:58:28/06-22-18)
A street sam that fires semi-auto grenades kills one encounter.
I cursed at myself the one time I forgot Chunky Salsa and killed a team I wanted to knock out. -_- People are too bloodthirsty, and must be gathering Notoriety faster than Street Cred.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (11:59:20/06-22-18)
@Jayde

I am not convinced that any significant level of gaming the system is taking place. From my personal experiences, and what I have read here, it very much appears that some folks just like to build and play supportive PCs.

I think that continuing the pattern of small background counts and astral security/mana barriers at all corporate, government, and law enforcement sites does a solid general job at acting as speed bumps for most magic users. In addition to that, the general SOP of the Neo-Tokyo police is thorough enough that PCs looking to abuse the laws will have a hard enough time on their hands.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (12:07:27/06-22-18)
at a minimum missions must make clear that you cannot mask quickened (or sustained) spells you cast on other people.

that is not RAW and as has been pointed out by Hobbes and myself a potential game breaking buff option that can stay on a missions character for ever.

i totes understand not wanting to close off options for new players (cough channelling cough) but stopping exploits should be.

and as hobbes and i have pointed out again and again (without any good counterargument in support) masking quickened (or sustained) spells on anyone other than the caster is not RAW, is not good gaming and is in fact an exploit.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (12:16:04/06-22-18)
@Hobbes

But on primary characters? That is just good team support. The mage and alchemist should be magically buffing their team (not necessarily Quickening, but that is ok if they wish to spend their karma for it). The face should be helping his teammates to acquire superior gear.

I have absolutely no problem with a player who is present with that character making all the contributions they  can.  Hand out preps like candy.  Buy the Samurai an Assault cannon.  Load the decker up on Sprites.  Buff the the Gunslinger to the gills.  But if your character isn't at my table, than neither is their stuff, spirits, sprites, or spells, please.  And thanks.

And throw away characters is not the best term, sorry.  Another player's character that you play with just once (or very infrequently), for whatever reasons.  Alts, Cons, sporadic attendance, stopped playing, whatever.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: adzling on (12:23:22/06-22-18)
if your character isn't at my table, than neither is their stuff, spirits, sprites, or spells..

tbh i can't believe this is not a rule for missions play, it's just cray-cray that anyone would think that they could walk up to a con table with "i got these sprites, quickened spells and borrowed panther cannon from some previous PCs i played with".
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (12:28:39/06-22-18)
Combination of lack of understanding but also a reticence to be seen as unfairly punishing players for using their tools.


Honestly I think the social/fun aspect is typically the reason GMs don't challenge Sustained and Quickened spells.  GMs and players are peoples.  Peoples want other peoples to like them.  Telling someone, hey, you can't have your toys, is tough. 

There isn't much of a middle ground.  Sustains (Quickens especially) are pretty much on or off.  And "turning off" Quickens is often a -1 Karma for that character which is a non-trivial penalty.  Results in hurt feelings and non-fun.  And, it's a game.  We're here to have fun.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Hobbes on (12:37:48/06-22-18)
if your character isn't at my table, than neither is their stuff, spirits, sprites, or spells..

tbh i can't believe this is not a rule for missions play, it's just cray-cray that anyone would think that they could walk up to a con table with "i got these sprites, quickened spells and borrowed panther cannon from some previous PCs i played with".

Auditing an experienced character would likely take a couple hours and as quirky as Shadowrun is I guarantee you'll find at something wrong.  A grey area at the very least.  It's got to be really obvious a mistake was made, and normally a GM will let it slide for that game and just ask the player to fix it when they get a chance.  That's how I've seen it handled anyway.

"In Player we trust"  "In GM we trust".... but please don't break our game aka "Don't be a Dick". 
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Lormyr on (12:56:58/06-22-18)
@Hobbes

Gotcha. I think we are on the same page now. With that being said, I mostly agree with you. I still don't mind a spell or two being Quickened on non-mages, but if a Decker landed at my table loaded to the gills with Quickened spells I'd have some questions for them. I've never seen someone try to bring in any of the other things you have mentioned without the owning player present, though. With vault of ages now, I expect we will see more alchemical preps being present, however.

Personally, I have no problem occasionally losing a Quickened spell. Sure, it costs some Karma, but the overall cost is small and that is the drawback of using that method. Your magic is sometimes at risk. I think it is pretty easy to tell the difference between a GM presenting the challenges present fairly, and one who is being a jerk and trying to penalize you for using options they don't like.



Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: marlocfavirzal on (15:57:34/07-25-18)
I know I am coming into this a month after conversation ended, and to that end I am sorry.
I wanted to add some other view-points and suggestions to the conversation. One of my buddies was also quickening at Origin's. He only quickened health spells for people. His character concept is a support mage, so it fit with his archtype. Here are a few things that we encountered.
Sustaining: Trying to sustain spells on the other 6 people at the table adds up, quick. -2 penalty on everything you do for each spell maintained. That usually became prohibitive enough that he did not want to have 6 sustained spells out there at once. Sustained spells do not last game to game and therefor was not an issue going from GM to GM.
Quickening: As a downtime action, where you must buy hits, most mages aren't going to be able to hand out spells with 4 hits, unless they are specialized in it. He also made sure to mark down all of the numbers needed for getting dispelled/disrupted. Another thing that came up with having the quickened spells is that his SIN got checked regularly (At least once per game). {Watcher spirit notices lots of spells with his signature, tells mage, mage calls patrolman, patrol checks SIN and Licenses. As a side effect of having one of his spells on you at the time, the rest of us often got checked as well.}
Also, there was a mission that had us going through customs. He had licenses that were not recognized at the place we were going to, so he was given the option of getting new licenses or having his spells dispelled.
The 3rd way that the quickened spells were dealt with was in a combat where none of the magical people wanted to look astrally. There was a mage that was staying astral and just knocking spells until they faded. (On tables where they don't have a mage or the mage doesn't want to defend the astral, this could be very problematic.)
We at the tables accepted these as fully reasonable ways to deal with having multiple high force health spells quickened on the party.

For the gamebreaking of it, we are all experienced players and wanted the new players to have fun. We would give the new players the spells/sprites and let them shine. Our glory was in the ability to boost. (and with the pre-gens not being updated to fit into NT, we had to find creative ways to have the new players shine)
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Michael Chandra on (16:47:29/07-25-18)
-1: Psyche. And 4 hits is easy with Aid Sorcery.
Title: Re: Questions about Quickening in Missions
Post by: Jayde Moon on (20:15:39/07-25-18)
I'm hoping the FAQ updates are sufficient.