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Shadowrun General => General Discussion => Topic started by: Lormyr on <08-26-19/1854:07>

Title: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-26-19/1854:07>
A few friends and I resolved to move past the theory crafting / assumption portion of 6e, and run an actual play / stress test this coming weekend. I've got the adventure all set for them, and I just got the last player's character an hour ago. I thought it would be interesting to let you guys know how our actual play goes after this weekend. In the meantime, here is the cast, and my initial thoughts looking over what they built. For note, we did chargen strictly as written and in step order.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-26-19/1913:32>
And last one.

They are all pretty min-maxed, which I both expect from them, and is also the stress test portion of our endeavor.

Cage looks pretty straight forward. Good soak, good defense dice, good DR. Crazy good grappler. With AR 21 and double-jointed, he is basically guaranteed his 2 edge for a turn when he attempts to grapple someone, and 18 dice to hit and 13 strength pretty much guarantees he will. Less attack dice for his archery, but still a high pool, and if someone gets hit by the nacrojet tree-trunk arrows it's just done.

I KNEW at least one of them would go for grenade abuse. Collateral (good name too Mike, well played) is going to be a combat problem. 18 stealth dice to force most defenders to make that surprise test, 5d6+14 base initiative is a pretty compelling case for always going first, and starting a confrontation with 2 grenades in hand probably means at least one high priority target is guaranteed to die before he gets to act. Possibly 2 if the surprise test is failed so they can't take avoid incoming. Good defense dice on him too, but soak and DR probably means anything that does land will hurt.

Lockdown is probably the most basic. Good matrix skills, and the ware/attribute/skill selection makes him a reliable combatant on top of that. I don't see any particularly nasty surprises from him though, just good raw bf/explosive rifle damage with a good attack pool.

Revenant is interesting. 24 base defense dice, 13 soak dice, DR 18 means that outside of improbable rolls nothing but grenades will ever touch him. Outside of spirits, he has absolutely no offense though. Do you need anything else though? Not having offense spells means he can hang his 3 concentration spells into physical resilience rather than need to worry about drain. When summoning, presumably from a safe location, he can have the drain resistance spells up to handle the summons, then pop on his normal load. Clever.

Sovereign I think I am most concerned about outside of Collateral. 22 drain dice, Thunderbird reduces the edge boosts on air spirit summoning by 1, and spending reagents will give him an edge when summoning. So each time he summons it is basically a free 1 or 2 edge use, so likely either turning a 4 to 5 for an extra hit for him, or making the spirit reroll a hit for that 66% of losing it. I am not sure if he will aim for the oversummon, or just shoot for the golden standard of walking around with 3 force 6's. He is incredibly unlikely to suffer drain from the later, even across multiple attempts, but he likes to go big, for might aim for a pair of 7's or 8's. He's more likely to fail to get services out of that than to get hurt trying it though.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-26-19/1922:27>
I'm not sure if the golden standard for summoning will be 3 spirits each at 100% Magic rating.

I rather expect it will be 1 spirit at 150% and 3 spirits at 50%.
For Magic 6, that'd be a F9 for offense and 3 F3s for utility and (formerly) Watcher style duties.

Tho with my local group, I expect they'll be doing 2 F9s. Or maybe trying for 1 F12 and 1 F6.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-26-19/1924:55>
I suspect the 2 impaired attribute thing will become the gold standard for min maxing qualities. Virtually any character can find 2 stats to dump. And 64+ karma is 64+ karma. And a lot of 1 strength trolls to get the most out of that.

As for spirits. Depends on how much people build for it I guess. Facing 18 dice is a hard road without focusses etc. so unless you are all in on summoning even force 6 might be a gamble.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-26-19/1928:04>
18 dice, but the spirit will be rerolling however many hits the summoner has in edge at that moment. Rerolling the spirits hits is the best option for your sole edge use... it increases your odds of succeeding at all, getting more services, AND lowers the drain you'll soak.

As a house rule I expect spirits should be edging against the summoner. If only when oversummoning. "Ok you made it reroll all these hits, NOW its gonna reroll all failures..."
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-26-19/1944:26>
18 dice, but the spirit will be rerolling however many hits the summoner has in edge at that moment. Rerolling the spirits hits is the best option for your sole edge use... it increases your odds of succeeding at all, getting more services, AND lowers the drain you'll soak.

As a house rule I expect spirits should be edging against the summoner. If only when oversummoning. "Ok you made it reroll all these hits, NOW its gonna reroll all failures..."

If the player feels free to use edge on summoning them why shouldnít they feel free use to defend.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-26-19/1945:50>
because you only get to spend edge once per action.

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-26-19/1947:30>
because you only get to spend edge once per action.

Maybe I donít get it but yeah the one action they spend edge on is resisting your summons.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-26-19/1954:59>
because you only get to spend edge once per action.

Maybe I donít get it but yeah the one action they spend edge on is resisting your summons.

Ah you meant why wouldn't the SPIRIT be spending edge anyway...

because they explicitly have none :(  They can't even gain edge for themselves or their controller.  Although, since they CAN spend edge (a summoned spirit can only gain edge by way of its summoner GIVING it some) it's arguable as to whether an unsummoned spirit has any edge.  Hence, my calling it a house rule.  It's a liberal interpretation at best that spirits can spend edge against being summoned...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-26-19/2018:24>
Ah I assumed that was just a limit of when they were summoned. You donít gain edge as a puppet type thing. Not a limit on whether or not they had edge at all.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-26-19/2158:26>
I think that Force 9 out of character generation might be a bit difficult to do routinely, but 50 or so karma down the road it will be substantially easier. Less an issue of drain and more one of successfully gaining services verses those 18 dice.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-26-19/2216:50>
Yeah the drains not a big issue itís not that hard to be at 20 drain dice so soaking 7 ish even a good roll by 18 dice you are probably only taking 12 so even a crap soak roll and you are up. But they fairly routinely will get 9-10 hits which is hard to beat until your pool is boosted with a focus and edge.

Iím baffled that they got rid of force in spells but kept it in spirits given that high force spirits were a much bigger issue than high force spells.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Jimmy_Pvish on <08-26-19/2238:11>
Let's see 6e reputation/heat system can have any real meaning this time.

I'm surprise that no-one in your group choose to go "Anticipation of Doom" build.
When I read that option, I convince myself that this is THE option for non-mage combat build.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-26-19/2322:10>
Yeah after seeing those character sheets, I do feel even more strongly about wishing Impaired Attribute didn't give 8 karma/level.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-27-19/0045:39>
Yeah after seeing those character sheets, I do feel even more strongly about wishing Impaired Attribute didn't give 8 karma/level.

Even if it capped at one level 8 points is massive for what it does compared to other 8 point flaws. A lower max in a stat I wasn't going to max anyways has 0 story benefits and has no interesting oops moments for your character and doesn't really impair them.  1/2 initiative with the inability to take move or sprint actions your first combat turn is brutal though at least I guess you can run from a grenade move, but at least your character freezing up in fights might have a interesting story element. Its going to be really popular not just because you can get 56 point or so out of it quick but because a lot of the negative qualities really can hit you hard and for a trivial karma gain.  But hey hey-fever gets you 11 points.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <08-27-19/0052:36>
Yeah, basically.

I'd like to see it only give like 2 karma/level.

Yeah, people would just take other negative qualities to get the same amount of bonus karma... But there'd actually be an impact that comes into play for things like allergies, prejudices, or ghost forbid edge denial. No reason to take any of those so long as you can get all the bonus karma you need for no impact.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-27-19/0056:53>
4 karma per level, 1 attribute max, maximum -3 for 12 karma, augmented maximum for said attribute becomes +0 instead (so no boosts whatsoever to it), cannot earn or spend Edge on any tests involving said attribute? (A bit too strict perhaps.)
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <08-27-19/0202:17>
4 karma per level, 1 attribute max, maximum -3 for 12 karma, augmented maximum for said attribute becomes +0 instead (so no boosts whatsoever to it), cannot earn or spend Edge on any tests involving said attribute? (A bit too strict perhaps.)
Maybe too harsh... maybe not though. Not being able to spend Edge on it is interesting and sounds good to me. It guards against the scenario where (say) the samurai takes impaired Charisma but on the rare occasion where they have to pass a Con check they throw fistfulls of Edge at the roll.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-27-19/0252:20>
I'd probably put the no-Edge limit at second level, not at first. And of course no stacking with other Edge-restricting negative qualities, so if Impaired Charisma is allowed, no combining with Uncouth.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <08-27-19/0345:24>
I'd probably put the no-Edge limit at second level, not at first.
I could see that. It feels a little bit odd that you get x karma for the first point, which has a list of disadvantages, then you get another x karma for the second point, which comes with all the same disadvantages plus this big extra one in the form of no Edge. But maybe I'm overthinking it.

With all these negatives, maybe 3-karma-per-point is a little low though?

Quote
And of course no stacking with other Edge-restricting negative qualities, so if Impaired Charisma is allowed, no combining with Uncouth.
Ah! I didn't think of that, but I see this is not your first horsey-lasso-capture thing.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: FastJack on <08-27-19/0742:55>
Or capping it at only 2 levels taken and only a single attribute?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <08-27-19/0748:42>
Or capping it at only 2 levels taken and only a single attribute?
My take is: a negative Quality should be an interesting choice, in the sense that it should be something where the player has to judge return (karma gained) versus investment (whatever negative effects will happen, either mechanically or in the fiction.) For that, it has to have some negative effects... A cap like this limits how much karma you can get from it, but it doesn't make it any more interesting/difficult a decision for the player, because it still remains almost completely harmless to them. Whereas MC's approach makes the downsides of taking Impaired Attribute bite a bit more. That's why I prefer that approach.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-27-19/0753:01>
I'd probably put the no-Edge limit at second level, not at first. And of course no stacking with other Edge-restricting negative qualities, so if Impaired Charisma is allowed, no combining with Uncouth.

At 4 a level assuming there was a cap of 2-3 that might work. Uncouth is a 6 point NQ and this is a marginally bigger flaw.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-27-19/0800:45>
I'm surprise that no-one in your group choose to go "Anticipation of Doom" build.

So the player of Collateral was intending to build towards edge generation to do it with grenades for maximum abuse, but then realized at most he could only get off two attacks with them due to how they are drawn/readied. That said, both he and Cage are capable of it on an opening round, so it might still come up. We'll see!

As for impaired attribute I think limiting it to one instance, like exceptional attribute, would be sufficient. It will still be the no brainer pick, but there are always no brainer picks for every game with merits and flaws options.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-27-19/1302:31>
Well 5E's "Everything has a price" approach tried to do away with no-brainer options. Looks like some of them are back.

Impaired Attribute will need to be curbed somehow. My first thought is to make every rank of it count as a separate quality vs. the "six total qualities" limit. So if Cage wants Impaired Logic 4, fine, but that's 4 of his 6 qualities. The opportunity cost becomes the balancing factor.

I only got the book yesterday so I'm not sure how metatype qualities (Dermal Deposits, Built Tough) factor into the "six total qualities" limit. Usually I would say they don't apply to the limit, but some of the qualities are upgradable (e.g. Built Tough).

Does a rating 13 injection arrow function as intended (i.e. successfully inject its toxin) if it rips right through the middle of the target like a cannonball?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <08-27-19/1626:27>


Does a rating 13 injection arrow function as intended (i.e. successfully inject its toxin) if it rips right through the middle of the target like a cannonball?

It does if the Wireless is turned on.    :P
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-28-19/1251:08>


Does a rating 13 injection arrow function as intended (i.e. successfully inject its toxin) if it rips right through the middle of the target like a cannonball?

It does if the Wireless is turned on.    :P

This makes me feel like a straight-line piercing overkill rule would be fun.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <08-28-19/1252:13>
AoE Control Actions spell first to make the goons line up...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: DigitalZombie on <08-29-19/1502:54>
Looking forward to hear about your playtest.

Did you create the characters, or did the players? I got the impression from your initial posts that it was the players themselves.  Yet their characters feel very much alike. Choice of attribute spread and choice of qualities.

Regarding the impaired attribute quality ( and likely some others as well) I would personally be more comfortable if they were just banned completely, and the players got a nice karma boost to start with as compensation.

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <08-29-19/1654:02>
All player made. This particular group of people (myself included if I was on the PC side) just has a very similar build and play style, which was why I asked them for for help with my stress test.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Finstersang on <08-30-19/0302:01>
Regarding Impaired Attribute: What about removing the multiple Ranks and just cutting the corresponding Attribute Maximum in half for 8 Karma? Another (or complementary) idea would be forbidding the use of Attribute Points to raise the Impaired Attribute at chargen while also increasing the Cost of raising the Attribute with Karma.

Restricting Edge Gains and Spends would be a fitting idea if it werenĎt for already existing Qualities like Uncouth or Uneducated. I would not restrict players from taking these as well, as they can also add nuance to the degree of incompetence:

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-30-19/1541:52>
I was playing might and magic 7 and for races they had a good and bad stat mechanic. Relevant to impaired attribute it cost 2 points to increase a bad attribute by 1. Something like that might work. It costs 2 points for 1 at char gen and 50% more karma to increase after char gen. If you are truly dumping it, it has limited effect but even getting it to 2 is a bit more costly.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <08-31-19/0215:58>
For me, the issue isn't the effect of the quality but the scale of it.

If we take the builds from Lormyr's group, all five (admittedly extreme) PCs take Impaired Attributed twice, for a total of 7 to 10 ranks (56 to 80 karma). Revenant, a troll, has Impaired Strength 7, which essentially farms the metatype's maximum Attribute for 56 extra karma. This appears to be kosher, by the rules as written.

Increasing the impact of the quality (so that it halves the maximum Attribute) or adding extra effects (like increasing advancement costs) are fine, but what I really want to nix is taking the quality multiple times. For me, shutting off the chargen karma spigot is more important than post-chargen effects. Given any number of near-suicidal negative qualities that range from 8 bonus karma (Combat Paralysis) to 20 karma (Allergy, Common Extreme), I don't want to let Impaired Attribute slide by with 24, 32, or 56 bonus karma.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Xenon on <08-31-19/0601:03>
I suspect the 2 impaired attribute thing will become the gold standard for min maxing qualities. Virtually any character can find 2 stats to dump. And 64+ karma is 64+ karma. And a lot of 1 strength trolls to get the most out of that.
You are still limited to a net bonus of 20 karma gain from your selection of positive and negative qualities and you are also limited to a total number of only 6 positive and negative qualities.

A lower max in a stat I wasn't going to max anyways has 0 story benefits and has no interesting oops moments for your character and doesn't really impair them.
...but in that case it would also not award you with any bonus karma.

If we are now allowed to get bonus karma from negative qualities that have no impact then you should probably take qualities such as Astral Beacon and multiple applications of both Spirit Bane and Sprite Bane.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Michael Chandra on <08-31-19/0637:03>
GM Fiat is a forbidden phrase apparently.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <08-31-19/1229:08>
I'm surprise that no-one in your group choose to go "Anticipation of Doom" build.
When I read that option, I convince myself that this is THE option for non-mage combat build.
You inspired me, so I took a pass at it:
https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30005.msg524266#msg524266
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <08-31-19/1342:41>
I suspect the 2 impaired attribute thing will become the gold standard for min maxing qualities. Virtually any character can find 2 stats to dump. And 64+ karma is 64+ karma. And a lot of 1 strength trolls to get the most out of that.
You are still limited to a net bonus of 20 karma gain from your selection of positive and negative qualities and you are also limited to a total number of only 6 positive and negative qualities.

A lower max in a stat I wasn't going to max anyways has 0 story benefits and has no interesting oops moments for your character and doesn't really impair them.
...but in that case it would also not award you with any bonus karma.

If we are now allowed to get bonus karma from negative qualities that have no impact then you should probably take qualities such as Astral Beacon and multiple applications of both Spirit Bane and Sprite Bane.

Itís not that hard to get a crap ton of positive qualities with the 4 you have left after milking impaired attribute twice so you only net 20. And yeah GMs can house rule things. But having the rules work from the get go is easier on both the players and GM.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-01-19/1015:02>
Our session yesterday ran for about 9 hours, so I have a lot to write. Going to try to have it out by tomorrow evening.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-01-19/1031:07>
Looking forward to it!

(Consider this encouragement if it starts getting tedious ;) )
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-02-19/2043:54>
9 hours! Those were the days.

I'll be interested in a debrief as well.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-03-19/1137:31>
Half way through! I can give you guys what I have now if you want, or you can wait another day or 2 for the rest. As it is massive, I am trying to keep the rp portions as brief and matter of fact as possible to focus on the mechanics stuff, with some final thoughts at the end.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1145:15>
I wouldnít mind reading it in two parts, it might even help if itís as long as you say!
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-03-19/1206:54>
Sure! Part 1 then:

Our session ran about 9 hours long. I will be keeping the RP elements as brief as possible, focusing on game mechanics, because this recap will be extremely long. As a general note, in our group, there are no "hidden" rolls - everyone rolls everything out right in the middle of the table, GM included.

Scene 1: The Job

The team is hired by a human named Jonathan Trost to investigate the death of his wife, Nora Trost, in her workplace at Columbus Springs East Psychiatric Ward in Columbus Ohio. According to the director of the ward, Dr. Lorenzo Ruiz, she was bludgeoned to death in a terrible accident when a patient experiencing a violent episode escaped his restraints and assaulted her. Dr. Ruiz's story was supported by Nora's death certificate from a coroner by the name of Martin Teller.

Jonathan is suspicious of the situation due to the following information his wife shared with him about strange things happening at work over the last 3 months:

- Patients becoming increasingly disturbed and difficult to calm at the ward.
- Patients disappearing over night with records of release appearing in their files.
- Dr. Ruiz and his medical staff becoming increasingly secretive and irritable.
- Dr. Ruiz receiving multiple visits from a wealthy hispanic executive accompanied by armed guard.
- Military grade vehicles being parked in the lot over night and gone in the morning.
- Orderly's presence augmented by the addition of armed security personnel.
- A strange feeling of dread or despair she couldn't quite put her finger on or explain.

Scene 2: Gathering Intel

The team spends the next two days doing legwork to learn everything they can about what they are getting into.

Sovereign and Collateral decide to hit the barrens around the Ward together to see what word on the street is about the place. Sovereign uses the Con skill to disguise himself as a poor barrens human [6 hits on his 18 dice]. Collateral likewise uses his Stealth skill to do the same [6 hits on his 16 dice pool]. They turn to the remainder of the team for an appraisal of their work, and with only Revenant pointing out flaws in their efforts [6 hits on 16 dice], they determine they are good. The pair haggles 200Y worth of food from Cage, much to his chagrin, and heads out.

Sovereign doing the majority of the talking, the pair adopts the story that their brother was taken into the ward a little over a week ago and that they haven't heard from him or been allowed to see him since, and they are just looking to see if anyone can shed some light what's been going on there. Sovereign makes a total of four Negotiation tests with informed dispossessed in the barrens. Each of his social tests receives 2 Edge: 1 for sharing his food with the hungry denizens of the barrens, and 1 for "Talker's appearance perfectly suited to their role" from their disguise. He aced all four of his tests [7, 4, 5, and 8 hits respectively on 20 dice vs. 2, 1, 2, and 3 hits respectively on 6 dice (3 WIL + 3 INT)]. They learn the following rumors:

- Less than three weeks ago a military truck of some kind brought in roughly a dozen heavily armed soldiers. They were all wearing what appeared to be the spotted pelt of some kind of animal.

- A few nights after this, the entire place went crazy. Electricity became unstable, lights flickered on and off, and howling from the patients and gunfire could be heard from the streets. Some hours later the animal pelted military personnel were witnessed driving away in vehicles that belonged to civilians who work at the ward but never came back out.

- As far as the locals are aware the authorities were never contacted, and no law enforcement ever showed up following that night.

- Less than a week ago a hispanic executive in a very expensive suit arrived in mitsubishi nightsky, exited with a 6 man entourage, and was in the ward for over an hour before leaving.

Meanwhile, Lockdown uses the Matrix Search extended action to do legwork on the following topics: Dr. Ruiz, the coroner Martin Teller, the ward itself, the death that occurred there, and military units that wear animal pelts. He performs the extended test on each until he gains a minimum of 8 hits, and spends a total of 110 minutes to learn the following:

- Lorenzo Ruiz is both a licensed medical doctor and mental health practitioner, having graduated from a prestigious Aztlan university. He has been working in the UCAS for the last 8 years, and has been the lead of Columbus Springs East for 4 of those years.

- The floor plans for the ward itself. The fact that the facility was purchased by a subsidiary company of Aztechnology 4 years ago.

- The fact that the incident of elecricity outage and gunfire the locals spoke of was never reported to authorities or made the news.

- Though there are a few military organizations that wear animal pelts, given the other links to Aztechnology, the Leopard Guard is the most likely answer to whom the military units are.

- The name of the office where Teller works, his education credentials, and his home address.

Scene 3: Answers from the coroner, Martin Teller

The team decides they want to start with the coroner, Martin Teller, at the Franklin County Coroner's Office. Scheduling an appointment isn't hard. They approach their questions openly but cautiously, and some successful judge intentions alerts the team Teller is nervous. The situation comes to an impasse when the team cannot provide a warrant or other legal requirement for him to answer their questions, and Sovereign tries to Negotiate his assistance, but miraculously fails [only 2 hits on 20 dice vs. Teller's 4 on 8 dice (4 WIL + 4 INT)].

So as to not make a scene the team departs peacefully, and waits for Teller to leave that evening. Revenant sends one of his spirits to trail Teller home, which turns out to be a decent security level C neighborhood. The team waits until midnight and makes a house call.

Walking in on foot, but leaving all of their difficult to conceal weapons in the van, they run into a pair of beat cops (I used the Lonestar Patrolman template, pg. 206). The officers ask them what they doing out so late. Sovereign attempts to Con them that he and his friends are celebrating his new promotion at work with dinner, and decided to head back to his place for a few drinks before calling it quits for the night. I award the beat cops 1 Edge for "Talker does not look like their claimed role at all", but Sovereign is still successful [7 hits on 20 dice vs. 2 and 3 hits on 6 dice]. Convinced they aren't up to no good, the cop does a quick check to see that they are all broadcasting SINS (they are), but doesn't bother to verify any of them before waving them on.

At Teller's home, Lockdown does a quick Matrix Perception for active icons or security inside the home, and finds none (because there isn't any). Noting the door is secured with a transponder-embedded lock, Collateral attempts to use his Engineering skill to open the lock quietly, and succeeds [5 hits on 15 dice vs. threshold 4 for the locks rating].

Martin Teller is awoken in his unmentionables, in his bed, in his home, to the cupped hand of Sovereign over his mouth with a finger to his lips. Sovereign calmly explains that they don't want to hurt the guy, but they need to try their conversation again, this time with answers, because his very large, very angry troll friend doesn't like it when skinny humans refuse to cooperate with his paycheck. I give Sovereign 2 Edge for his Influence check, 1 for "Talker being clearly more physically powerful (Cage)", and "Listener has no easy ways to leave". Sovereign succeeds [7 hits on 20 dice after turning a 4 into a 5 with Edge vs. 3 hits on 8 dice [4 WIL + 4 INT)].

Teller spills his guts. Nora's actual cause of death was exsanguination, the blunt trauma delivered to her head only after she was already dead. Teller's been on the ward's payroll for nearly 3 years, and he writes the certificates the way Dr. Ruiz instructs him. They are always careful to make sure that the falsified causes of death are practical, and he's written at least 18 such certificates for him.

The team thanks Teller for reconsidering conversing with them, and get his assurance he isn't going to do anything foolish that will make them consider him an enemy and have to come back. Teller readily agrees. Just in case, the team uses a service from one of Revenant's water spirits to conceal them on the way out.

Scene 4: Assessing what we know

At this point it is clear to the team that there is definitely something to Jonathan's intuition about his wife. They take some time to discuss what they know, speculate some logical extensions to that knowledge, and make a plan. It looks like this:

They know: The ward is owned by Aztechnology. Elite Aztechnology coporate security is or at least was on site. There was definitely a disturbance on site that was loud enough to alert the barren's denizens around the building that a full-fledged gunfire fight took place inside the facility. That disturbance was never reported to authorities or made the news. Nora was not killed by a patient, died in a very unusual and precise manner, and is only one of more than a dozen deaths or disappearances.

From that knowledge, they think: Something important to the company, and unethical, is taking place. Even if a large scale fight takes place inside the team's presence is unlikely to draw attention from the authorities because the company is clearly trying to keep things quiet. The security measures inside are likely top of the line.

They then debate about the pros and cons of going in naturally vs. trying to get some inside info from spirits and Lockdown playing in the ward's host, but one or both failing and alerting security. Ultimately, they decide to just do both: attempt the inside info, but be ready to move the instant it fails so they don't have a lot of time to prepare.

Scene 5: Preparation

The team begins their preparation at 9pm that night.

Revenant games the system like a boss. He casts Increase Attribute: Logic [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 5 hits on 15 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking 1 stun damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He casts Increase Attribute: Willpower [5 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 7 hits on 19 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He casts Increase Attribute: Body [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 6 hits on 19 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration.

He then summons 3 Force 6 water spirits. The first attempt is a terrible roll, failing but suffering no damage [2 hits on 13 dice vs. 4 hits on 12 dice, buying the 4 drain]. Trying again, the second is successful with 3 services and no damage taken [6 hits on 13 dice vs. 3 hits on 12 dice, buying the 3 drain]. The third attempt is another failure with 1 stun damage taken [1 hit on 13 dice vs. 7 hits on 12 dice for summoning, 6 hits on 19 dice for drain vs. 7 drain]. The fourth attempt is successful with 3 services and no damage taken [5 hits on 13 dice vs. 2 hits on 12 dice, buying the 2 drain]. The fifth attempt is successful with 2 services and no damage taken [4 hits on 13 dice vs. 2 hits on 12 dice, buying the 2 drain]. His final tally is 3 Force 6 water spirits with 3, 3, and 2 services, and 1 stun damage taken.

Finally, he casts Increase Attribute: Reaction [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 6 hits on 19 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage, dropping the sustained Increase Logic, and sustaining Increase Reaction with focused concentration. He then casts Increase Attribute: Intuition [11 hits on 14 dice lol for spellcasting, 4 hits on 15 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking 2 stun damage and dropping the sustained Increase Willpower, and sustaining Increase Intuition with focused concentration. He then takes it easy until they begin their mission at midnight, easily buying off the 4 stun damage with one recovery test.

Sovereign casts Increase Attribute: Charisma [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 6 hits on 18 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He follows up with Increase Attribute: Willpower [5 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 8 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He finishes with Increase Reflexes [buys 2 hits, 7 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration.

He then summons 3 Force 6 air spirits, spending 6 reagents on each for 1 Edge per summoning. The first is successful with 4 services and no damage taken [6 hits on 13 dice w/+1 to single die roll Edge boost vs. 2 hits on 12 dice, buying the 2 drain]. The second is successful with 2 services and no damage taken [6 hits on 13 dice w/+1 to single die roll Edge boost vs. 4 hits on 12 dice, buying the 4 drain]. The third is successful with 3 services and no damage taken [8 hits on 13 dice w/+1 to single die roll Edge boost vs. 5 hits on 12 dice, buying the 5 drain]. His final tally is 3 Force 6 air spirits with 4, 3, and 2 services, and no damage taken.

Scene 6: Midnight - Go time

Sovereign sends in his 2 service spirit, saying "Being as subtle as you can, scout out this building and report back to me how many floors it has, anything magically active you see or encounter, and the number of armed metahumans you see.". The spirit departs to do this.

Lockdown takes a shot of jazz and gets to work on the host. Though he is unaware of this of course, for your knowledge the Host is rating 7 (A 7/S 8/D 9/F 10) and monitored by a Professional Rating 6 security spider (I used the DocWagon HTR Support Engineer template, pg. 208).

Lockdown is in hot sim VR and running silent, and has 1 point of noise to contend with from his 1,000 meter distance from the target, which is negated by his signal scrub program. He also has no need to worry about spotting the host's icon, as it is not hiding, so he sets to work.

He starts with the Probe action, succeeding with 2 net hits and OS rising to 7 [7 hits on 20 dice vs. 5 hits on 15 dice]. He then uses Backdoor Entry, succeeding once again and OS rising to 14 [8 hits on 22 dice vs. 5 hits on 15 dice]. He then enters the host.

As part of the security spider's vigilance, he takes the Matrix Perception action, failing to detect Lockdown running silent [4 hits on 11 dice vs. 5 hits on 14 dice]. The active patrol IC, however, detects Lockdown's presence in the host immediately [11 hits! on 14 dice vs. 3 hits on 14 dice]. The patrol IC alerts the security spider, and the host launches Blaster IC, which is Lockdown's cue that his presence has been found out.

We roll Initiative and land on the following order: Lockdown (31 on 5d6+16), Blaster IC (30 on 3d6+16), Security Spider (22 on 3d6+16). Knowing what's coming now that he's been caught in a Big 10 host, Lockdown uses a minor action to exit the host, a second minor action to switch from hot sim VR to AR, and a major action to jack out of the matrix.

Turning to the team he tells them he's busted. They head in.

Scene 7: Little pig, little pig, let me in!

The team slaves all of their necessary wireless connections through Lockdown, who continues to run silent. Collateral takes a dose of psyche. Revenant takes a dose of jazz. Revenant and Sovereign instruct their highest service spirits (4 and 3, respectively) to assist them in their upcoming combats until expended, and both manifest in preparation for their service.

Collateral takes to the shadows using Stealth [6 hits on 18 dice], and skulks up to the front door. All of the two security guards (Lone Star SWAT Officer template minus the bonus lieutenant CM, pg. 207) at the front door [3 and 2 hits on 8 dice] and the security spider monitoring the cameras [4 hits on 10 dice] fail to notice Collateral tampering with the door from the shadows. The door is protected with a rating 5 Maglock, and Collateral uses Engineering to the remove the case, taking 3 combat rounds to do so [5 hits, 2 hits, and 3 hits on 16/15/14 dice]. He then begins to rewire the circuits with Engineering, taking 2 combat rounds to succeed [6 hits and 4 hits on 16/15 dice]. The red light of the keycard Maglock flashes green with an audible beep as the heavy glass slides open automatically, and Collateral springs into action on the two guards by the door.

Rolling Initiative, we have the following order: Collateral (32 on 5d6+14) and the two guards (15 on 2d6+9). Failing to perceive Collateral while he was sneaking, both guards make a surprise test, and both fail [2 hits and no hits!? on 9 dice]. Being there is no longer an Edge option that explicitly allows you to avoid surprise, and there is no other option for avoiding it past your REA+INT test I am aware of, the guards are about to have a very bad day. Collateral uses a minor action to move back 10 meters, a major action to ready a frag grenade, and a second major action to attack with it. Neither guard can take actions due to being surprised, and as a result Collateral scores a direct hit [7 hits on 20 dice for throwing, rolling a 6 on his 2d6 scatter minus 9 for his net hits and near range]. The guard suffering the direct hit pre-edges his soak roll with the team's edge but to no avail, taking 11P [5 hits on 9 dice for soak vs. 16P], and his colleague 2.5 meters away takes 10P [2 hits on 4 dice for soak vs. 12P], resulting in both dying in a storm of shrapnel.

Yelling wildly, Collateral holds his arms up in a V as the rest of the team except Cage (who gave a thumbs up) scolds him for feeling the need to open the night with an explosion. Now the entire building is aware it is under attack. Awesome, Collateral. Thanks for that. He pulls out two more grenades, sticking his thumbs through the pins [taking the ready weapon action for both], and looks forward to make things even louder.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1216:14>
...a prestigious Aztlan university...
The exact moment where I went "uh oh."
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1244:55>

Revenant games the system like a boss. ...

So to summarise across the mage's pre-run prep, we have (across two characters):

...and Revenant heals all his Stun damage easily before the actual run starts.

I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

The PCs didn't particularly roll hot, either. Most of those rolls are around the 33% statistical average, so it wasn't merely good luck. They burned some reagents to get there, but they don't cost much.

Quote
Yelling wildly, Collateral holds his arms up in a V as the rest of the team except Cage (who gave a thumbs up) scolds him for feeling the need to open the night with an explosion. Now the entire building is aware it is under attack. Awesome, Collateral. Thanks for that. He pulls out two more grenades, sticking his thumbs through the pins [taking the ready weapon action for both], and looks forward to make things even louder.
Collateral is extremely awesome/unprofessional (delete as appropriate for the pink mohawkness of your table.) I can neither confirm nor deny his possible appearance as a future NPC in my campaign.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/1250:35>
...
Sovereign sends in his 2 service spirit, saying "Being as subtle as you can, scout out this building and report back to me how many floors it has, anything magically active you see or encounter, and the number of armed metahumans you see.". The spirit departs to do this.
...

I enjoy seeing idiosyncrasies such as these. Telling an armed person from an unarmed person via assensing isn't something I would have thought even possible.

I've always understood that from astral, a gun is essentially impossible to discern from a clipboard. In my understanding, all that you can tell from assensing a nonmagical item is what the bearer or owner feels, in an emotional sense, about the object.  And in either case, probably little to nothing, if it's corp-issued gear.  Your wedding ring or your locket with your mum's portrait inside it? You can't tell what specifically it is in a physical sense, but you MIGHT be able to reason it out based on the specific emotional importance it has to its wearer...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/1429:44>
I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

Not to me.  The 5e group I run with considers F6 spirits "low force" and routinely throw F12 combat spells for no drain.

This display didn't even raise my eyebrows.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-03-19/1432:19>
Did you all have fun, and was it a flavor of fun you'd like to do again?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1446:24>
I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

Not to me.  The 5e group I run with considers F6 spirits "low force" and routinely throw F12 combat spells for no drain.

This display didn't even raise my eyebrows.
Is that a good thing?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1447:02>
I enjoy seeing idiosyncrasies such as these. Telling an armed person from an unarmed person via assensing isn't something I would have thought even possible.

I've always understood that from astral, a gun is essentially impossible to discern from a clipboard.
SR5: "Objects that are neither magical nor living do not have an aura; they are featureless grey shadows of their physical form. They can, however, pick up impressions for a limited time from being in contact with living auras. A teddy bear in the Barrens might pick up a childís fear, a wedding ring its ownerís sense of love and joy, or a murder weapon an aura of rage."

Street Grimoire: "When discussing the nature of magic, itís also important to consider the nature of the astral plane. The astral is a confusing place to the untrained. Life illuminates and emotions color a grey and shadowy mirror of the physical world. When astral projecting, you do not hear the din of the physical world, nor can you read written words. Technological displays and holographic images donít exist even as shadows on the astral plane. All the lifeless objects in the physical world appear as dull and intangible shadows to astral forms, allowing them to easily pass through. Details on these objects (color, texture, smell) are almost impossible to understand; a bookís words are impossible to read, as is the context of the writing unless itís tied to some emotion that the character can perceive. All life has intangible auras that illuminate the astral world, while emotions can color them. Emotions can also color non-living objects if they have some significance to metahumanity (individually or as a whole). Within the silence, the magician can hear the crackle and hiss of mana being drawn into a spell or the subtle harmonies or cacophony of aspect ed mana as it flows through the astral plane."

A lot depends on your interpretation of what is meant by "grey shadows" and "grey and shadowy mirror". I think it's ultimately a bit ambiguous, perhaps intentionally so. My reading has always been closer to Lormyr's than yours, based mostly on "details on these objects (color, texture, smell) are almost impossible to understand" implying that non-details like, say, the shape of the object are possible to understand.

There's also questions about how much sense a spirit can make sense of technology when it looks at it, as opposed to an astrally active metahuman. Can they tell a pistol from a flashlight? Or a car from a helicopter? I tend towards "not often" on questions like this.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: GuardDuty on <09-03-19/1454:17>
Now I have this vision of a spirit tiptoeing around, hiding in doorways and behind potted plants like a cartoon character, spying on the security because he needs to know how many armed guards there are, and he was told to be "as subtle as possible".
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-03-19/1500:41>
Now I have this vision of a spirit tiptoeing around, hiding in doorways and behind potted plants like a cartoon character, spying on the security because he needs to know how many armed guards there are, and he was told to be "as subtle as possible".

Essentially.  "...subtle as possible..." implies using the Stealth skill to sneak around just in case there is Astral observers.  Stealth/Sneaking totally works in the Astral and hiding behind things is generally the way to accomplish it.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-03-19/1514:35>
I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

Not to me.  The 5e group I run with considers F6 spirits "low force" and routinely throw F12 combat spells for no drain.

This display didn't even raise my eyebrows.
Is that a good thing?

Depends on the table expectations.  If the GM and players are all expecting it, all good.  Session 0 is important. 

Personally I expect Mages to pull off that kind of display regularly.  I also expect most mundane characters to try and pull off Anticipate frequently, while rocking 18 dice in their chosen specialty. 
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-03-19/1519:03>
I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

The PCs didn't particularly roll hot, either. Most of those rolls are around the 33% statistical average, so it wasn't merely good luck. They burned some reagents to get there, but they don't cost much.

I have some strong thoughts on this that I will touch on once I finish typing the full recap. In part two I think it will become very obvious what I plan to say before I get to it.

Collateral is extremely awesome/unprofessional (delete as appropriate for the pink mohawkness of your table.) I can neither confirm nor deny his possible appearance as a future NPC in my campaign.

The moment I saw that character's name and how many grenades were on his sheet I knew we were going to be deep into Pink Mohawkville.

astral assensing and armed stuff

I largely agree with you, at least as far as 6e since it doesn't have the section that penllawen quoted from 5e below. This was Shaun's way of learning if there were any weapon foci present on anyone, and how many.

Not to me.  The 5e group I run with considers F6 spirits "low force" and routinely throw F12 combat spells for no drain.

This display didn't even raise my eyebrows.

These guys are the same in 5e. In 6e, soaking drain from spirits is easy, but managing to get services on oversummoned one's is surprisingly tough. Revenant's struggle just to get 3 with net at magic rating was real.

None of them built combat mages this time either, you just have Collateral instead. Grenades are far more dangerous than aoe combat spells out of chargen though, with the sole exception of vs. spirits.

Essentially.  "...subtle as possible..." implies using the Stealth skill to sneak around just in case there is Astral observers.  Stealth/Sneaking totally works in the Astral and hiding behind things is generally the way to accomplish it.

Hobbes gets it.

Did you all have fun, and was it a flavor of fun you'd like to do again?

Allow me to address this once I finish typing up the recap.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1555:53>
Personally I expect Mages to pull off that kind of display regularly.  I also expect most mundane characters to try and pull off Anticipate frequently, while rocking 18 dice in their chosen specialty.
And now your GM has put +6-10 dice on all the NPCs and what has it got you in the end?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-03-19/1640:32>
Personally I expect Mages to pull off that kind of display regularly.  I also expect most mundane characters to try and pull off Anticipate frequently, while rocking 18 dice in their chosen specialty.
And now your GM has put +6-10 dice on all the NPCs and what has it got you in the end?

18 Dice is it's own reward.  And yes, sometimes the result of an optimized table is higher dice pool NPCs and higher thresholds.  Do it myself as a GM occasionally.  "Just roll more dice" is certainly a part of a Shadowrun GM's toolkit.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/1708:04>
...
Sovereign sends in his 2 service spirit, saying "Being as subtle as you can, scout out this building and report back to me how many floors it has, anything magically active you see or encounter, and the number of armed metahumans you see.". The spirit departs to do this.
...

I enjoy seeing idiosyncrasies such as these. Telling an armed person from an unarmed person via assensing isn't something I would have thought even possible.

I've always understood that from astral, a gun is essentially impossible to discern from a clipboard. In my understanding, all that you can tell from assensing a nonmagical item is what the bearer or owner feels, in an emotional sense, about the object.  And in either case, probably little to nothing, if it's corp-issued gear.  Your wedding ring or your locket with your mum's portrait inside it? You can't tell what specifically it is in a physical sense, but you MIGHT be able to reason it out based on the specific emotional importance it has to its wearer...

In 6e that might be the answer. The magic section is pretty lite on details for the astral world. Every other edition Iíd say it leaned more towards objects were black and white or in a greyscale but still discernible. The novels 1e-3e era it was very much just black and white vs color. People knew they were waking down a corridor, could see desks, or food stands etc and what they lacked in color they might pick up in emotional content.

Personally I think early editions have it right or better I guess Iíd say. Itís less evocative to me to just make everything shadowy masses. So if it changes to shadowy masses Iíd say itís a negative setting change for no rule convenience.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-03-19/1709:48>
Part 2, which is all I will have time to finish today. The last part should be ready in a day or two.

Scene 8: Having fun storming the castle

The lobby of the ward sports a bland aesthetic, a large front desk, and two wings (east and west) behind maglocked metal doors and gates. Three cameras in the lobby alone lets the team know that they should expect that literally everything they are doing is being monitored.

Sovereign alerts me that he will begin astrally perceiving, and assensing every non-combat round as they move through the place until he tells me otherwise. I tell him heard, and I'll address him further if/when it becomes relevant.

Lockdown swiftly puts a round in each camera, destroying them.

Subtlety no longer a concern, Cage tells Collateral he'll handle the door. Cage's player asks me if I am willing to allow bone density 4 to be a "specialized" door breaking "weapon", and I say sure, reasoning that the augmentation is similar to a hammer in both implementation and use and that allowing it will both be fun for him and at best save him 1 round of bashing doors. Cage grabs a hold of the east metal door with the maglock, and deftly rips the entire thing from its hinges and out of the frame [5 hits on 13 dice = 15P damage vs. the door's structure rating of 11]. Tossing the busted, twisted metal to the ground, he proceeds to grab a hold of the metal gate, wrenching the lock in half as he tears it from the latch and pushes it into the wall as well [9!? hits on 13 dice = 19P damage vs. the gate's structure rating of 13].

The team falls in line 10 meters behind the two trolls and heads down the east wing. 2 more cameras in this hallway, both of which are treated to a round from Lockdown. As they pass the cells, and they are definitely cells, of the mentally ill patients in the ward the team is greeted to all manner of interactions from incoherent gibbering and blank catatonic stares to pleas for help from their individual demons and pleas for help from Dr. Ruiz and his staff. The team stops for a minute to talk to a particularly lucid elven woman, from whom they are told the following:

- There is a basement level under the ward made of strange stone, guarded by warriors with animal pelts wielding clubs with broken glass or sharp rocks in them, where the Dr. and his staff perform unearthly rituals. Patients die down below, and the staff offers blood, or prayers, or something far more sinister to unknown forces.

- A few weeks ago, the staff contacted something, and that something got loose. It killed staff and patients alike, and broke into the upper ward from the levels below. They could hear its whispers in their minds, promising an end, and the comforts of the void. It drove some of the patients completely howling mad, some into gibbering fear, and others still into reverence of the entity. The carnage of combat was heard off and on for over an hour before heavy military personnel arrived and managed to contain whatever happened.

She begs them to release her and the other patients, but the team is conflicted. They aren't eager to see anyone else die in this hell hole but also can't be sure that releasing the clearly disturbed people of the ward won't end up causing a worse fate.

As they debate this, a group of six human orderly's, wearing white uniforms and brandishing stun batons, comes running down the hallway towards the team (I used the Sons of Sauran Brute template, pg. 205, removing the light pistol, knucks, and firearms skill and replacing them with a stun baton). One look at the manifested spirits, obviously cybered, assault rifle toting, grenade brandishing, clearly means business group causes the orderlys to come to a screeching halt halfway down the hall. Sovereign takes one look at them and calmly says "For the low, low price of that maglock keycard on your belt there, we didn't see you, and you didn't see us. Pretty good deal!", to which the orderly's nod vigorously, drops his keycard, and runs out of the building (I didn't make him roll; he got a give me).

The team promises the elf they will come back to help once the threats are neutralized, and continues down the corridor to another maglocked door and gate. Sovereign swipes his way through with the orderly's keycard, and the team continues down the hall. At this point Sovereign's previous astral perception declaration comes into play as he witnesses what appears to be three Force 6 spirits of water coming towards the group, only these spirits are crimson in color. As literally everyone on the team lacks knowledge skills, no one has the slightest clue what that could mean, and as the blood spirits (I used water spirits, just re-skinned for thematics) manifest, the team braces themselves for a real fight.

We roll Initiative, and have the following order: Collateral (32 on 5d6+15), Revenant (28 on 3d6+18), Cage (25 on 4d6+13), Sovereign (23 on 3d6+12), blood spirits (22 on 2d6+14), Revenant's water spirit (21 on 2d6+14), Sovereign's air spirit (20 on 2d6+16), Lockdown (15 on 3d6+9).

Collateral asks how far down the hallway the blood spirits manifested, and I tell him 12 meters from Cage and Revenant, 22 meters from you. He shrugs, looks at the team and says "You knew this was coming!" and uses a major action to throw a previously readied grenade. All three blood spirits use the Avoid Incoming action, while Collateral secretly writes down his target location, and I secretly write down the direction the spirits move. We reveal to his target being ground zero on the center spirit, and the spirits moving towards the group. Neither side gains edge [10 AR vs. 12 DR], and Collateral makes his attack roll, landing the grenade exactly where he wished [7 hits on 20 dice for throwing, rolling an 8 on 2d6 for scatter minus 9 for his net hits and near range]. The three spirits roll to see how much distance they make with their Avoid Incoming action, making it a measly 1, 2, and 2 meters from their previous position [1, 2, and 2 hits on 7 dice; 13 dice for Agility + Athletics for Avoid Incoming - 6 dodge penalty for ground zero target]. Each of the three spirits takes a second minor action to take the Hit the Dirt action, reducing their incoming damage by -2. This places all three spirits within the "close" (1-3 meters) range of the explosion, resulting in an incoming 10P each (12 for range, -2 hit the dirt). The spirits take 1P, 2P, and 1P damage from the explosion [3 hits, 2 hits, and 3 hits on 6 dice for soak, adjusted by an additional -6 damage for immunity to normal weapons].

All of Collateral, Lockdown, Sovereign, and the team's spirits are outside of the 20 meter explosion radius, but Cage and Revenant are not. Cage does some quick math and realizes he'd need 9 hits on 14 dice to clear the blast radius, so simply decides to use a minor action for Hit the Dirt instead of Avoid Incoming. Revenant knows he has no chance, and Hits the Dirt as well, resulting in both looking down an incoming 6P (8 - 2 for hitting the dirt) for near range. Both gain a point of Edge [AR 10 vs. DR 17 and 18], and Cage ends up taking 1P damage [5 hits on 12 dice for soak], and Revenant 1P damage [5 hits on 13 dice for soak].

Collateral asks Cage and Revenant if they are good for another blast, they give a thumbs up, and Collateral uses his second major action to throw his off-hand readied grenade. This time the spirits can't move, and Collateral successfully places the grenade squarely on the back on the center blood spirit [8 hits on 20 dice for throwing, rolling a 5 on 2d6 for scatter minus 10 for his net hits and near range]. All three spirits face down 14P damage (16 - 2 for hitting the dirt), and take 7P, 6P, and 5P from the second explosion [1 hits, 2 hits, and 3 hits on 6 dice for soak, adjusted by an additional -6 damage for immunity to normal weapons].

Once again, both Cage and Revenant deal with 6P, and both gain a second point of Edge. Cage suffers 1P [5 hits on 12 dice for soak after spending 2 edge to turn a 4 into a 5], and Revenant takes no damage [6 hits on 13 dice after spending 2 edge to turn a 4 into a 5]. We end Collateral's turn with Cage at 2P damage, Revenant at 1P damage, and the spirits having taken 8, 8, and 6 damage.

On Revenant's turn he takes a second minor action to stand up, and his major action for full defense.

On Cage's turn, he takes his second minor action to stand up, a third minor action to move 10 meters adjacent to the least damaged spirit, and a major action to stomp in it's head with his big, trollish boot. Already at his Edge gain cap for the turn, his overwhelming AR of 21 goes to complete waste, and he successfully hits the prone spirit for 13P [7 hits on 18 dice for close combat vs. 4 hits on 10 dice for defense (-4 for wound penalty and prone). The spirit takes 5P from the attack 9 [2 hits on 6 dice for soak, adjusted by an additional -6 damage for immunity to normal weapons], and is destroyed.

Sovereign uses a minor action to move 10 meters adjacent to Revenant, and then a major action to banish one of the remaining spirits. He successfully removes the last 2 remaining services, causing the spirit to depart [5 hits on 13 dice vs. 3 hits on 10 dice (-2 for wound penalty)]. He takes no drain from doing so [7 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 from x2 spirit's hits].

The final blood spirit spends a third minor action to stand, and a major action to use elemental attack on Cage, missing. [5 hits on 11 dice (-2 from wound penalty] vs. 5 hits on 13 dice].

Sovereign's air spirit spends a minor action to move 10 meters adjacent to Sovereign, and a major action to use elemental attack on the blood spirit, hitting for 7P [5 hits on 15 dice vs. 4 hits on 12 dice (-2 wound penalty]. The blood spirit takes 5P electricity damage, dying. [2 hits on 6 dice for soak].

The immediate threat over, Revenant casts heal on himself, buying 3 hits and buying the 3 drain. Sovereign casts heal on Cage, restoring 1 CM [6 hits on 14 dice - 5 for terrible essence]. Collateral readies two more grenades with a cowboy-like holler, saying to the trolls "You boys soak shrapnel like a hilltop hooker soaks blow! Remind me to get you boys a drink later!". Revenant frowns, Cage replies "I LIKE BRATWURST!", Lockdown face palms, and the team moves on in their previously stated formation.

Scene 9: With regards from Dr. Ruiz

The team continues down hallways of cells and patients in the throws of madness, Lockdown putting a round into every camera they encounter, Sovereign getting through 1 more set of doors worth of use from their keycard before the security spider changes the access codes, at which point Cage resumes ripping doors and gates out of walls.

Sovereign's spirit returns, reporting that it found no active magic on the first floor and no objects it can certainly identify as weapons. In the lower level it encountered 6 magically active individuals stronger than it, each with a magical weapon, and a ward that led further inward that it could not penetrate. The entire place with soaked with insanity, sorrow, and fear. Sovereign sighs and informs the group. Most of them are ponderous, except for Collateral who cheerfully exclaims he has 27 explosives left, and continues onward undaunted.

After several more hallways, and more jazz for Lockdown and Revenant, the team enters what appears to be a second lobby, with a downward leading stairway behind a security door. Hiding in the lobby are 6 Aztechnology Leopard Guard (I used the Renraku Red Samurai template on pg. 208). They are very well hidden with their teamwork Stealth test at 7 hits. As the team is coming down the hall just before entering the room I have them make visual perception tests. Only Revenant succeeds [8 hits on 16 dice], noticing some shifting shadows and a boot lace sticking out from the corner of a desk. Revenant quickly waves the group back, and lowers his hand as a sign for them to take cover, which they do as best as possible in the hallway (poorly; cover I). He walks into the room about 1/5 of the way in, clears his throat, and says "I see your bootlace, douchebag. Pull yours balls out of your purses and lets do this.", in an attempt to taunt them.

Rolling Initiative, we get the following order: Collateral (33 on 5d6+15), Revenant (30 on 3d6+18), Cage (26 on 4d6+13), Leopard Guard (23 on 3d6+10), Sovereign (22 on 3d6+12), Sovereign's air spirit (21 on 2d6+16), Revenant's water spirit (20 on 2d6+14), Lockdown (17 on 3d6+9).

Collateral, Cage, and Sovereign each buy 3 hits on their surprise test to avoid surprise from the enemies they can't see, while poor Lockdown is surprised (2 hits on 8 dice).

Collateral delays.

Revenant uses a minor action to walk another 7 meters into the room, putting him about halfway into the 20 meter room, and a major action for full defense.

Cage delays.

The 6 Leopard Guard, weapons already set to BF and readied, rise from their cover (Cover III), using a minor action and major action to fire on the cocky and incredibly scrawny troll. They spend 4 of their 7 team edge to pre-edge their attack roll, to which Revenant responds with spending a minor action to Dodge. Revenant gains a point of edge [14 AR (12 + 4 grunts - 4 BF vs. DR 18), and the 5 grunt grouped Leopard Guard, much to their disbelief, miss entirely [11 hits on 25 pre-edged dice vs. 13 hits on 35 dice]. The 6th guard, seeing what happens when bullets are shot at the skinny troll, fires on the surprised Lockdown 30 meters away. Lockdown gains a point of edge [AR 8 (12 -4 BF) vs. DR 12], and Lockdown is successfully hit for 6P [5 hits on 16 dice for firearms after losing 1 hit to a forced re-roll from edge vs. 4 hits on 13 dice (12 + Cover I) for defense], taking 2P damage [4 hits on 10 dice for soak].

Collateral undelays, using a major action to throw the first grenade more than 30 meters towards the end of the room the Leopard Guard and Revenant are in. The LG use a second minor action to avoid incoming, leaving their cover and running towards the team. The LG group gain an edge from the attack [AR 10 vs. DR 16]. The first two, who were at ground zero range, both make it a measly 3 meters forward and fall prone [3 hits on 8 dice (14 - 6 dodge penalty for ground zero), taking 7P and 8P damage (3 hits and 2 hits on 5 dice for soak vs. 10P (12 - 2 free prone with 3+ hits on avoid incoming)]. The remaining four make it 4 meters, 5 meters, 5 meters, and 6 meters forward, all within 2 meters of Revenant, and fall prone [4 hits, 5 hits, 5 hits, and 6 hits on 12 dice (14 - 2 near range)], taking 5P, 4P, 4P, and 1P damage [1 hit, 2 hits, 2 hits, and 5 hits! on 5 dice for soak vs. 6P]. Revenant uses his third minor action to Hit the Dirt, gains a second point of edge from this attack [AR 10 vs. DR 18], and takes no damage from the near range explosion [6 hits on 13 dice for soak  vs. 6P].

Collateral sees the sea of "elite" military forces within arms reach of Revenant, gives the troll a pleading look, who sighs dramatically and shrugs his acceptance. Collateral squees with glee, and uses a second major action to throw his second readied grenade 3 meters to the left of Revenant, on top of two prone guards. Collateral cannot miss [13!? wtf lol hits on 20 dice, he doesn't even need to roll scatter], the LG team gain a second point of edge [AR 10 vs. DR 16], Revenant does not because he has already gained 2 this round, and the two guards at ground zero cannot possibly survive the 14P damage and erupt in a shower of gore. At close range, Revenant takes 3P damage (7 hits on 13 dice for soak after spending 2 edge to turn a 4 into a 5 vs. 10P], and the two LG take 7P and 8P [3 hits and 2 hits on 5 dice for soak vs. 10P], which is sufficient to end both with their damage from the previous grenade. The remaining two guards towards the back of the room, at near range, take another 4P and 3P damage [2 hits and 3 hits on 5 soak after using edge to turn a 4 into a 5 vs. 6P], also resulting in their deaths from their previous damage.

Collateral hoots and hollers around, readying another pair of grenades and hugs Revenant with the grenades in his hands, who casts heal on himself, buying 3 hits on spellcasting and the 3 drain to repair all of his damage. Meanwhile, Sovereign casts heal on Lockdown, restoring 1 CM [6 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting - 5 for terrible essence].

Though this security door is far sturdier (structure rating 16), Cage still makes short work of it after three thunderous blows, and the team descends several flights of stairs into the depths below.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/1722:01>

Revenant games the system like a boss. ...

So to summarise across the mage's pre-run prep, we have (across two characters):
  • Revenant: 5x buff spells, all resulting in +4 to the stat, total of 3 boxes of Stun, no sustain penalties
  • Revenant: 4x spirit summon attempts (all Force 6), 1 box of Stun damage in total
  • Sovereign: 3x buff spells, all resulting in +4 to the stat, no Stun damage
  • Sovereign: 3x spirit summons (all Force 6), no Stun damage

...and Revenant heals all his Stun damage easily before the actual run starts.

I know these are well optimised characters. But does this seem to anyone else like an awful lot of power being channelled around for very little cost?

The PCs didn't particularly roll hot, either. Most of those rolls are around the 33% statistical average, so it wasn't merely good luck. They burned some reagents to get there, but they don't cost much.



How much people optimize or game a system is a table thing. And on some level Iíd say needed. Do players have to play dumb to make things fair. The rules represent how the world works so to speak. So of humming showtunes means you get 100 automatic successes you canít blame people for humming showtunes.

One type of character like mages being able to game the system more can be a rule issue. Personally I think 6e missed a opportunity to get rid of or seriously nerf the ability to permanently sustain spells, focusses in general and get spirits under control power wise. They nerfed some spells youíd want to sustain which I think is the wrong track. Nerf sustaining and stacking not the spell itself. Donít be surprised if a mage starts off with 20 dice is summoning air spirits or something and consistently summons for 8/9 spirits in many campaigns. 6 magic+ 6 conjuring specialization summoning mentor spirit and rating 4 focus all easily obtainable out of the gates.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-03-19/1816:50>
One type of character like mages being able to game the system more can be a rule issue. Personally I think 6e missed a opportunity to get rid of or seriously nerf the ability to permanently sustain spells, focusses in general and get spirits under control power wise.
I agree completely.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: markelphoenix on <09-03-19/1904:14>
...
Sovereign sends in his 2 service spirit, saying "Being as subtle as you can, scout out this building and report back to me how many floors it has, anything magically active you see or encounter, and the number of armed metahumans you see.". The spirit departs to do this.
...

I enjoy seeing idiosyncrasies such as these. Telling an armed person from an unarmed person via assensing isn't something I would have thought even possible.

I've always understood that from astral, a gun is essentially impossible to discern from a clipboard. In my understanding, all that you can tell from assensing a nonmagical item is what the bearer or owner feels, in an emotional sense, about the object.  And in either case, probably little to nothing, if it's corp-issued gear.  Your wedding ring or your locket with your mum's portrait inside it? You can't tell what specifically it is in a physical sense, but you MIGHT be able to reason it out based on the specific emotional importance it has to its wearer...

If it has a shape in the Astral, and the spirits mental skills were sufficiently high, would it not be reasonable to assume they could reason out a weapon by it's astral shadow?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/1906:13>
If it has a shape in the Astral, and the spirits mental skills were sufficiently high, would it not be reasonable to assume they could reason out a weapon by it's astral shadow?

That presumes the shadow has a real correlation with the physical shape.

You can't tell a troll adult from a human baby in astral, so I don't see how a gun's shape is easily discernible from a clipboard's shape.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/1908:31>
If it has a shape in the Astral, and the spirits mental skills were sufficiently high, would it not be reasonable to assume they could reason out a weapon by it's astral shadow?

That presumes the shadow has a real correlation with the physical shape.

You can't tell a troll adult from a human baby in astral, so I don't see how a gun's shape is easily discernible from a clipboard's shape.

What? I have never seen anything to indicate you canít tell a troll shape from a human baby or even a troll baby from a human baby apart in the astral.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/1911:38>
If it has a shape in the Astral, and the spirits mental skills were sufficiently high, would it not be reasonable to assume they could reason out a weapon by it's astral shadow?

That presumes the shadow has a real correlation with the physical shape.

You can't tell a troll adult from a human baby in astral, so I don't see how a gun's shape is easily discernible from a clipboard's shape.

What? I have never seen anything to indicate you canít tell a troll shape from a human baby or even a troll baby from a human baby apart in the astral.

What says that you CAN?

Sex, Age, metatype, and many other things are decidedly NOT on the list of things you can discern via assensing.

As a matter of fact, once you start saying you CAN see these things, you get into total landmined territory.  What's the "true" gender, according to the aura, of a biological man who's a trans woman?  What about elf/ork poseurs?  No matter where you draw the line, other than "you flatly can't tell these things", is a lose/lose.

Furthermore, it's been established for a long time now that your aura extends "out from your body and through your clothing".  This is the exact rationale for why you can still target people inside fully-encompassing armor with spells.  Since the clothing (and presumably, other carried gear) is INSIDE the aura, from an astral perspective, it's somewhat hazy to me that you could see any carried gear at all.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-03-19/1918:51>
Yeah, the Astral plane is all Auras and Shadows.  Physical size has no bearing on what your Aura is like.   
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/1930:43>
I donít know who or what edition wrecked the fluff of the astral along the way but damn I donít wonít to play in it.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/2003:39>
I donít know who or what edition wrecked the fluff of the astral along the way but damn I donít wonít to play in it.

That would be, if my memory serves, 1st edition.

2nd edition establishes on pg 146 that your aura's appearance has no correlation to your physical appearance.  It's also the page that governs inspecting auras, and race/sex/age is never something established as discernable.

I'm 95% sure this was the same in 1e, but I can't find my 1e rulebook at the moment.  And that's aggravating....I didn't put it away where it belongs...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/2009:54>
I don’t know who or what edition wrecked the fluff of the astral along the way but damn I don’t won’t to play in it.

That would be, if my memory serves, 1st edition.

2nd edition establishes on pg 146 that your aura's appearance has no correlation to your physical appearance.  It's also the page that governs inspecting auras, and race/sex/age is never something established as discernable.

I'm 95% sure this was the same in 1e, but I can't find my 1e rulebook at the moment.  And that's aggravating....I didn't put it away where it belongs...

The thing is you have an aura you aren’t a aura. The astral never blocked you from seeing a troll for being a troll or a building being a building or a shop stall being a shop stall. The aura overlapped you but it wasn’t all you were. Pretty much all the fiction up through 3e that I can recall if the protagonist was a mage and they went astral they saw a troll but with a aura they didn’t just see a aura.


Heck this used to be a way to see through mask spells. You’d see the real physical them, their aura and the spells aura.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/2012:49>
I donít know who or what edition wrecked the fluff of the astral along the way but damn I donít wonít to play in it.

That would be, if my memory serves, 1st edition.

2nd edition establishes on pg 146 that your aura's appearance has no correlation to your physical appearance.  It's also the page that governs inspecting auras, and race/sex/age is never something established as discernable.

I'm 95% sure this was the same in 1e, but I can't find my 1e rulebook at the moment.  And that's aggravating....I didn't put it away where it belongs...

The thing is you have an aura you arenít a aura. The astral never blocked you from seeing a troll for being a troll or a building being a building or a shop stall being a shop stall. The aura overlapped you but it wasnít all you were. Pretty much all the fiction up through 3e that I can recall Iíd the protagonist was a mage and they went astral they saw a troll but with a aura they didnít just see a aura.

Well, I don't know what to tell you other than it (discerning race/age/sex) wasn't a thing in the 5e rules, it's not a thing in the 6we rules, and as far as I can remember or tell, it never WAS a thing in any edition's rules.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Serin_Marst on <09-03-19/2020:52>
I donít know who or what edition wrecked the fluff of the astral along the way but damn I donít wonít to play in it.

That would be, if my memory serves, 1st edition.

2nd edition establishes on pg 146 that your aura's appearance has no correlation to your physical appearance.  It's also the page that governs inspecting auras, and race/sex/age is never something established as discernable.

I'm 95% sure this was the same in 1e, but I can't find my 1e rulebook at the moment.  And that's aggravating....I didn't put it away where it belongs...

The thing is you have an aura you arenít a aura. The astral never blocked you from seeing a troll for being a troll or a building being a building or a shop stall being a shop stall. The aura overlapped you but it wasnít all you were. Pretty much all the fiction up through 3e that I can recall Iíd the protagonist was a mage and they went astral they saw a troll but with a aura they didnít just see a aura.

Well, I don't know what to tell you other than it (discerning race/age/sex) wasn't a thing in the 5e rules, it's not a thing in the 6we rules, and as far as I can remember or tell, it never WAS a thing in any edition's rules.

Doesn't match up with 3e.  The section on astral senses specifically call out that you could recognize a stop sign by it's shape and color, but the word would be gibberish or look at a piece of paper and pick up emotional content, but not read the words.  Only abstract concepts are indistinct, the rest of astral is a "mirror world" (exact wording) colored by emotional context.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-03-19/2024:09>
There you go Shinobi, looks like 3e is the version for you!
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Serin_Marst on <09-03-19/2054:34>
There you go Shinobi, looks like 3e is the version for you!

3e is just the oldest edition that I still have access to.  I distinctly remember "see a computer, but can't read the screen" as an example from 2e (that's where I started, so I can't speak to 1e).  4e describes material objects as "faded and lacking detail" which is more indistinct, but hardly the "is that a baby or a troll" level of abstraction you are describing.  5e is the first that could be interpreted as astral looking like an impressionist watercolor but only if you read it without the context of previous editions.

That said, we're way off topic.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/2101:18>
I was beginning to wonder if my memory had finally fully slipped. Iíll stick with the 3e style it tells the better story.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Jimmy_Pvish on <09-03-19/2217:21>
One type of character like mages being able to game the system more can be a rule issue. Personally I think 6e missed a opportunity to get rid of or seriously nerf the ability to permanently sustain spells, focusses in general and get spirits under control power wise.
I agree completely.

And "game the system" for mage is literary "playing as normal",
like samurai buy the bast ware/gun, decker buy the best deck/program, rigger buy the best RCC/drone etc.

Mage can just buy the best metamagic/spell/foci/spirit available to them and then they're gods of 6th world.

They're broken by default, mage's player has to holding back or the game start to falling apart, both game mechanic and lore wise.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: FastJack on <09-03-19/2234:52>
Quote from: Grimoire, 1st Edition, p. 65
Information in the Aura

Following is a list of the basic information a magician can read from an aura.
  • The relative level of the subject's Essence loss (low, average, or high).
  • Whether the subject is magically active to some extent (a magician or adept). Enchanted items and materials also display a distinctive aura that marks them as magical.
  • If someone is under a spell or possessed by a Spirit, that will be visible, with the Astral form of the spell or Spirit seen bound to the aura.
  • The true form of the subject. Beings appear as themselves, despite any disguise or transformation spells. Shapeshifters show their animal forms. This does not apply to beings with masked auras, of course. The "true form" seen in that case will in fact, be false.

Highlight is mine.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Beta on <09-03-19/2245:58>
Given enough time to look carefully I figure a mage can take a pretty good guess that it is an SMG and not a clip board (although at a quick glance 'holding a moderate sized object' or something like that.  As seen by a water spirit, on the other hand ... yah probably only weapon foci, as was clarified by the OP.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: FastJack on <09-03-19/2252:14>
And, actually:
Quote from: Grimoire, 2nd Edition, p. 89
Players should note that the meat bodies of mundanes are recognizable from astral space. If the body has been physically disguised, it would be almost impossible to recognize that person from physical appearance alone. However, all living beings have auras, each aura as unique as fingerprints or DNA patterns. An aura, once seen, can be recognized again. In such circumstances, the gamemaster may wish to have the character involved make a Perception Test against a target number and modifiers set by the gamemaster based on the circumstances and the magician's familiarity with the subject's aura.

From 3rd Edition going forward, they make no mention of determining details like race or physical details from the astral, but with the Assensing tables mentioning that you can determine where cyberware is on the individual's body, I'd say that you'd know if you were looking at a dwarf or troll. And since every astral body (mundane or magical) is as unique as DNA, you'd recognize people with a successful assensing test, IMHO.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: markelphoenix on <09-03-19/2316:17>
If Cage sneezes too hard and loses a piece of his meat body, would his essence reach 0 and auto die?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-03-19/2321:10>
And, actually:
Quote from: Grimoire, 2nd Edition, p. 89
Players should note that the meat bodies of mundanes are recognizable from astral space. If the body has been physically disguised, it would be almost impossible to recognize that person from physical appearance alone. However, all living beings have auras, each aura as unique as fingerprints or DNA patterns. An aura, once seen, can be recognized again. In such circumstances, the gamemaster may wish to have the character involved make a Perception Test against a target number and modifiers set by the gamemaster based on the circumstances and the magician's familiarity with the subject's aura.

From 3rd Edition going forward, they make no mention of determining details like race or physical details from the astral, but with the Assensing tables mentioning that you can determine where cyberware is on the individual's body, I'd say that you'd know if you were looking at a dwarf or troll. And since every astral body (mundane or magical) is as unique as DNA, you'd recognize people with a successful assensing test, IMHO.

Well the default was it was like a mirrored world so I don't see why they would feel the nee to state the obvious.  The assumption for at least 1-3e was it looked like the real world with some modifications, if it wasn't one of those modifications you saw it mostly normally. 4e, seems it was pretty close to 1-3e it wasn't shadows and darkness but faded and indistinct, which in 1-3e I think it was supposed to feel or look like dulled out as well.  5e, I guess they changed it but call it change blindness I assumed it was still like 1-3e but just with different metaphors to describe it I had envisioned shadows as more like some comic book shadow dimension version, so it still looked like a chair but grey and dark. 6e, they just have a short blurb and its more just darkness.

As a GM it just seems to either be a lot more work to describe or end being up being  a lot less evocative of what the narrative of something as fantastical as astral projection should be. If you can nail it, its probably still evocative in a different way than earlier editions but it seems a lot harder to get there as its too narrow for my vocabulary to describe it. If I can describe charlies car in detail emphasizing how it has a aura built up through the care Charlie put into it every week I feel I can get further than if its some shadowy thing that someone loves.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-04-19/0534:21>
Sovereign casts Increase Attribute: Charisma [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 6 hits on 18 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He follows up with Increase Attribute: Willpower [5 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 8 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He finishes with Increase Reflexes [buys 2 hits, 7 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration.

I wanted to recap this, but instead of considering what Lormyr's players actually rolled, I want to look at probabilities. So consider Sovereign from Lormyr's example above. I'll recap his important stats here:

Base drain resist is Cha 9 + Wil 5 = 14 dice
Sorcery(Spellcasting) = 6(+2)
Magic = 6
Essence = 6

First, he casts Increase Attribute against Charisma. This rolls Sorcery + Magic (5-Essence), giving +1 to the selected stat per net hit. The drain is 3, +1 per hit beyond the first

Spellcasting test: 14 dice vs (-1) gives 89% chance of 3 hits or more (and can buy with autohits if GM agrees), plus the 1 "free hit" from Essence. He's only one die away from buying a guaranteed success that gives the maximum +4 to the stat.

Now the drain resistance test. Lormyr appears to allow the +4 Increase Attribute to be included in the drain roll, which feels slightly generous but is (I think) RAW based on the "all spell effects happen even if Drain kills the mage". But let's be extra harsh and say that it doesn't, though. That would make Sovereign roll 14 dice vs (6), giving drain chance of:

0 boxes: 31% chance Sovereign resists all drain
1 box: 52%
2 boxes: 74%
3 boxes: 89% (can buy this with autohits if GM agrees)

If you allow the Increase Attribute to apply to the drain test, then the 31% chance of no drain becomes 59%.

Now repeat with a second casting of Increase Attribute, but with +4 dice against drain now due to the first Increase Attribute being in effect. No sustain penalty due to Focused Concentration. I'll assume no wound penalty; there's only an 11% chance of 3+ boxes of Stun damage from the first spell by the "harsh" version of the rules.

Spellcasting: the same 89% chance of getting 3+ hits as before.

Drain: 18 dice vs (6): 59% chance of taking no drain at all. 97% chance of taking 3 or fewer boxes. If you follow the "Increase Attribute takes effect before drain" reading, there's a 79% of no drain at all on this second spell.

Now for the Increase Reflexes. Same Sorcery + Magic (5-Essence) test, with each hit granting +1 Reaction and +1 dice. Base Drain Value is higher - 5, +1 for each net hit beyond the first.

Spellcasting is the exact same 14 dice test, but let's break the probabilities down a little more:

Chance of 0 hits: 0.3% (this still gives +1 Reaction / +1d6)
Chance of 1 hit: 2.4% (+2 Reaction / +2d6)
Chance of 2 hits: 7.8% (+3 Reaction / +3d6)
Chance of 3+ hits: 89% (+4 Reaction / +4d6) (max) (can also buy this with autohits if GM agrees)

So there's a good chance that Sovereign can get the max +4 here. Now consider the drain resistance chances, with 22 dice, against a maximum drain of 8 (5 base, +3 for applying 4 hits; this assumes the "free hit" from Essence is included in the drain calculation although that isn't clear to me.)

Chance of 8+ hits: 45% (with no drain, this would give Sovereign 14+5d6 initiative and 1 Major/5 Minor actions)
Chance of 7 hits: 17.8%
Chance of 6 hits: 15.6%
Chance of 5+ hits: guaranteed (can buy this)

With three chain casts -- at most, ten seconds of prep time - Sovereign can all but guarantee casting all three, with reaction time equivalent to Wired Reflexes II (which costs 150k nuyen and 2 essence.) If he's unlucky, he might take a couple of boxes of Stun damage. But if he's just a little bit lucky or prepared to use some Edge or reagents, he can pretty easily get up to the same level as Wired Reflexes IV (400k nuyen, 4 Essence.)

You tastes may vary, but if I'm a Street Samurai at this table who's invested in massive amounts of expensive 'ware to get the same effect, I am feeling short-changed at this point.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: markelphoenix on <09-04-19/0726:30>
Sovereign casts Increase Attribute: Charisma [4 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 6 hits on 18 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He follows up with Increase Attribute: Willpower [5 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting, 8 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration. He finishes with Increase Reflexes [buys 2 hits, 7 hits on 22 dice for drain vs. 6 drain], taking no damage and sustaining with focused concentration.

I wanted to recap this, but instead of considering what Lormyr's players actually rolled, I want to look at probabilities. So consider Sovereign from Lormyr's example above. I'll recap his important stats here:

Base drain resist is Cha 9 + Wil 5 = 14 dice
Sorcery(Spellcasting) = 6(+2)
Magic = 6
Essence = 6

First, he casts Increase Attribute against Charisma. This rolls Sorcery + Magic (5-Essence), giving +1 to the selected stat per net hit. The drain is 3, +1 per hit beyond the first

Spellcasting test: 14 dice vs (-1) gives 89% chance of 3 hits or more (and can buy with autohits if GM agrees), plus the 1 "free hit" from Essence. He's only one die away from buying a guaranteed success that gives the maximum +4 to the stat.

Now the drain resistance test. Lormyr appears to allow the +4 Increase Attribute to be included in the drain roll, which feels slightly generous but is (I think) RAW based on the "all spell effects happen even if Drain kills the mage". But let's be extra harsh and say that it doesn't, though. That would make Sovereign roll 14 dice vs (6), giving drain chance of:

0 boxes: 31% chance Sovereign resists all drain
1 box: 52%
2 boxes: 74%
3 boxes: 89% (can buy this with autohits if GM agrees)

If you allow the Increase Attribute to apply to the drain test, then the 31% chance of no drain becomes 59%.

Now repeat with a second casting of Increase Attribute, but with +4 dice against drain now due to the first Increase Attribute being in effect. No sustain penalty due to Focused Concentration. I'll assume no wound penalty; there's only an 11% chance of 3+ boxes of Stun damage from the first spell by the "harsh" version of the rules.

Spellcasting: the same 89% chance of getting 3+ hits as before.

Drain: 18 dice vs (6): 59% chance of taking no drain at all. 97% chance of taking 3 or fewer boxes. If you follow the "Increase Attribute takes effect before drain" reading, there's a 79% of no drain at all on this second spell.

Now for the Increase Reflexes. Same Sorcery + Magic (5-Essence) test, with each hit granting +1 Reaction and +1 dice. Base Drain Value is higher - 5, +1 for each net hit beyond the first.

Spellcasting is the exact same 14 dice test, but let's break the probabilities down a little more:

Chance of 0 hits: 0.3% (this still gives +1 Reaction / +1d6)
Chance of 1 hit: 2.4% (+2 Reaction / +2d6)
Chance of 2 hits: 7.8% (+3 Reaction / +3d6)
Chance of 3+ hits: 89% (+4 Reaction / +4d6) (max) (can also buy this with autohits if GM agrees)

So there's a good chance that Sovereign can get the max +4 here. Now consider the drain resistance chances, with 22 dice, against a maximum drain of 8 (5 base, +3 for applying 4 hits; this assumes the "free hit" from Essence is included in the drain calculation although that isn't clear to me.)

Chance of 8+ hits: 45% (with no drain, this would give Sovereign 14+5d6 initiative and 1 Major/5 Minor actions)
Chance of 7 hits: 17.8%
Chance of 6 hits: 15.6%
Chance of 5+ hits: guaranteed (can buy this)

With three chain casts -- at most, ten seconds of prep time - Sovereign can all but guarantee casting all three, with reaction time equivalent to Wired Reflexes II (which costs 150k nuyen and 2 essence.) If he's unlucky, he might take a couple of boxes of Stun damage. But if he's just a little bit lucky or prepared to use some Edge or reagents, he can pretty easily get up to the same level as Wired Reflexes IV (400k nuyen, 4 Essence.)

You tastes may vary, but if I'm a Street Samurai at this table who's invested in massive amounts of expensive 'ware to get the same effect, I am feeling short-changed at this point.

You keep saying if GM agrees, but buying hits reads as standard RAW now and not an alternate rule. Other than House Ruling you can't, don't know why you would appeal to the GM for it rather than just stating you do it.

Also, Cybered/Bioed up Sams don't have to worry about active dispelling, wards, being lit up like a Christmas tree on the astral, and having to spend significant Karma at char gen to sustain 3 spells without taking a penalty, which effectively becomes a mage tax if you want to sustain long term without penalty out of chargen (later can buy foci to sustain, but that's additional nuyen and karma cost).
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Michael Chandra on <09-04-19/0739:58>
Quote
[...]you need gamemaster approval
to buy hits. It should not happen in a circumstance
where a glitch or critical glitch would have a
significant impact on the testís outcome.

Possible examples of glitches for Spellcasting are more drain, or critical forgetting the actual spell. True, those are very harsh, but then again weren't people praising the 2e mechanics of losing limbs? So then spellcasting should probably be considered too risky for buying hits.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-04-19/0802:50>
but then again weren't people praising the 2e mechanics of losing limbs?
That's at least the second time you've brought this up (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30027.msg524501#msg524501) in threads I am participating in -- is it intended as a carefully-phrased swipe at this post by me (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29708.msg522525#msg522525) as well as this thread where I talked about grounding in 2e (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29978.msg523859#msg523859)? If so, please note that I wasn't 'praising' this behaviour. In fact I said "Ooof, that's cruel by modern standards." Could you please knock off the passive aggression?

You keep saying if GM agrees, but buying hits reads as standard RAW now and not an alternate rule. Other than House Ruling you can't, don't know why you would appeal to the GM for it rather than just stating you do it.
Further to MC's response that GM approval is indeed required to buy hits in 6e: another good reason not to let mages buy hits on tests like this is where the possible drain consequences are important. So a poor roll on the spell might only get a partial effect of what the mage wants, and then a poor roll on the drain might give a couple of boxes. Now the mage faces an interesting choice between sticking with what they have, or dropping the spell, re-casting, and trying again. As a GM, personally, I'd enforce rolling at the table but use buying hits during downtime.

Quote
Also, Cybered/Bioed up Sams don't have to worry about active dispelling, wards, being lit up like a Christmas tree on the astral,
Cybered/etc sams do have to worry about MAD scanners (etc) and being astrally scouted and having their 'ware and low Essence noted; and they cannot ever choose to just turn that stuff off at will. A sustained-buff mage build can shut everything down, stroll through a perimeter, then fire it all back up. Any infiltration sammy would sell their mother to a benraku parlour for that ability.

Quote
and having to spend significant Karma at char gen to sustain 3 spells without taking a penalty, which effectively becomes a mage tax if you want to sustain long term without penalty out of chargen (later can buy foci to sustain, but that's additional nuyen and karma cost).
Focused Concentration 3 is 36 karma, which good value; consider that that is the equivalent of 72k nuyen, or half the price of mid-tier Wired Reflexes. In any event, the cost is easily neutralised by Impaired Attribute and a dumpstat, as ably demonstrated by Revenant in Lormyr's example.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-04-19/0817:01>
Lormyr appears to allow the +4 Increase Attribute to be included in the drain roll, which feels slightly generous but is (I think) RAW based on the "all spell effects happen even if Drain kills the mage"

Yeah, the effect of spellcasting always resolves before the drain - at least mechanically. Thematically they probably happen within milliseconds of each other. Either way the indirect combat spell example (fireball is cast, fireball roasts people, then Cass soaks drain) on pg. 132 makes it clear.

With three chain casts -- at most, ten seconds of prep time - Sovereign can all but guarantee casting all three, with reaction time equivalent to Wired Reflexes II (which costs 150k nuyen and 2 essence.) If he's unlucky, he might take a couple of boxes of Stun damage. But if he's just a little bit lucky or prepared to use some Edge or reagents, he can pretty easily get up to the same level as Wired Reflexes IV (400k nuyen, 4 Essence.)

Only if he is willing to actually take the -2 sustaining penalty or quickens. More than 2 hits on increase reflexes is too high a drain value for focused concentration to sustain.

As a GM, personally, I'd enforce rolling at the table but use buying hits during downtime.

I personally always allow characters (including NPCs) to buy hits if for no other reason that to save time, but there is nothing wrong with doing it either way.

Focused Concentration 3 is 36 karma, which good value; consider that that is the equivalent of 72k nuyen, or half the price of mid-tier Wired Reflexes. In any event, the cost is easily neutralised by Impaired Attribute and a dumpstat, as ably demonstrated by Revenant in Lormyr's example.

Both the players of the spellcasters said the only reason they bothered with focused concentration was because it was a one shot game. If it was a longer campaign they would have skipped it and just quickened after 2 runs. I personal would do the same thing, but I am willing to accept the loss of ability to hide my magically active status, lose subtlety, and lose the ability to access some locations in exchange for that power. Others will evaluate the situation differently.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: GuardDuty on <09-04-19/0821:23>
but then again weren't people praising the 2e mechanics of losing limbs?
That's at least the second time you've brought this up (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30027.msg524501#msg524501) in threads I am participating in -- is it intended as a carefully-phrased swipe at this post by me (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29708.msg522525#msg522525) as well as this thread where I talked about grounding in 2e (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29978.msg523859#msg523859)? If so, please note that I wasn't 'praising' this behaviour. In fact I said "Ooof, that's cruel by modern standards." Could you please knock off the passive aggression?

I believe he was referencing a little rant by Typhus (?) about trauma patches and overflow damage.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-04-19/0828:58>
Yeah, the effect of spellcasting always resolves before the drain - at least mechanically. Thematically they probably happen within milliseconds of each other. Either way the indirect combat spell example (fireball is cast, fireball roasts people, then Cass soaks drain) on pg. 132 makes it clear.
Indeed, I'm very familiar with the canonical fireball example (and I approve of it because it lets mages do sacrifice plays), but somehow hadn't mentally connected that Increase Attribute until I read your example in detail. It just... feels a bit weird, I guess? But I agree it's quite clearly RAW.

Quote
Only if he is willing to actually take the -2 sustaining penalty or quickens. More than 2 hits on increase reflexes is too high a drain value for focused concentration to sustain.
Yeah, I realised this after posting. Of course, as you say further down, that limit would only apply until the mage could get their hands on alternate means of free sustaining.

Quote
Both the players of the spellcasters said the only reason they bothered with focused concentration was because it was a one shot game. If it was a longer campaign they would have skipped it and just quickened after 2 runs. I personal would do the same thing, but I am willing to accept the loss of ability to hide my magically active status, lose subtlety, and lose the ability to access some locations in exchange for that power. Others will evaluate the situation differently.
Interesting. I think, as a mage player, I'd want both. Reserve Quickening or sustain foci for the big guns like Increased Reflexes but I still see Focused Concentration being useful in the long haul -- eg. for Increase Attribute spells (guards against losing Quickening), or buffs on team-mates, or sustaining illusion/manipulation spells, etc etc.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Michael Chandra on <09-04-19/0829:16>
but then again weren't people praising the 2e mechanics of losing limbs?
That's at least the second time you've brought this up (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=30027.msg524501#msg524501) in threads I am participating in -- is it intended as a carefully-phrased swipe at this post by me (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29708.msg522525#msg522525) as well as this thread where I talked about grounding in 2e (https://forums.shadowruntabletop.com/index.php?topic=29978.msg523859#msg523859)? If so, please note that I wasn't 'praising' this behaviour. In fact I said "Ooof, that's cruel by modern standards." Could you please knock off the passive aggression?

I believe he was referencing a little rant by Typhus (?) about trauma patches and overflow damage.
@penllawen: You KNOW I rarely if ever even read your posts, and almost never reply to them. Could you please knock off making false accusations?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-04-19/0839:59>
I believe he was referencing a little rant by Typhus (?) about trauma patches and overflow damage.
OK, if so... I still think the passive aggression is a bit rude, though.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-04-19/0952:30>

Quote
Only if he is willing to actually take the -2 sustaining penalty or quickens. More than 2 hits on increase reflexes is too high a drain value for focused concentration to sustain.

Yeah, I realised this after posting. Of course, as you say further down, that limit would only apply until the mage could get their hands on alternate means of free sustaining.


I thought it was 3 hits.  AFB so I can't confirm but I thought the wording on Increased Reflexes was something along the lines of "...+1 Drain for each hit after the first."   First hit was 5 Drain, second hit 6, Third hit was the magic 7.  Am I remembering the details wrong? 
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-04-19/0958:03>
Quote
[...]you need gamemaster approval
to buy hits. It should not happen in a circumstance
where a glitch or critical glitch would have a
significant impact on the testís outcome.

Possible examples of glitches for Spellcasting are more drain, or critical forgetting the actual spell. True, those are very harsh, but then again weren't people praising the 2e mechanics of losing limbs? So then spellcasting should probably be considered too risky for buying hits.

Iíll say possibly losing a limb from taking massive damage has a different feel than I only roll 6 dice when shooting and rolled bad once so I lost my hand. So even those who liked 2es limb loss might not like this one as itís mechanically screwy as it incentivizes people not to do tests in secondary skills and thematically off as guns spontaneously exploding doesnít make sense.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-04-19/0959:57>
I thought it was 3 hits.  AFB so I can't confirm but I thought the wording on Increased Reflexes was something along the lines of "...+1 Drain for each hit after the first."   First hit was 5 Drain, second hit 6, Third hit was the magic 7.  Am I remembering the details wrong?

You have the formula right, but focused concentration cannot sustain spells with modified drain of 7 or higher, so only 6 and lower.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-04-19/1002:37>
Right, thanks!
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Iron Serpent Prince on <09-04-19/1451:39>
Part 2, which is all I will have time to finish today. The last part should be ready in a day or two.

I'm looking forward to it.

I'd also like to know your players feelings on the system, if you weren't planning on including that.  I'm not asking for them to sign up to the forums, or any lengthy disposition.  A summary will do.  I'm wondering if they walked away with the same feelings as my group.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-04-19/1509:39>
Part 2, which is all I will have time to finish today. The last part should be ready in a day or two.

I'm looking forward to it.

I'd also like to know your players feelings on the system, if you weren't planning on including that.  I'm not asking for them to sign up to the forums, or any lengthy disposition.  A summary will do.  I'm wondering if they walked away with the same feelings as my group.

We discussed that, and I'll be adding those once I finish up the recap.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: &#24525; on <09-04-19/1510:54>
Ought assensing be proscriptive?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-05-19/1415:07>
Third and final part. My thoughts and player thoughts to follow once I get those typed up.

Scene 9: Adapt and destroy

Having now been able to witness through the surveillance system Collateral's love of explosives and Revenant dodge a hail of gunfire that should have felled a tank before Lockdown took out cameras, the security spider alerts all remaining personnel not to target the skinny troll with weapon attacks and to prioritize killing the human wearing the bandolier of grenades above all other targets.

Up to this point I've had the security spider do another matrix perception test every minute in effort to spot Lockdown running silent to begin messing with the team's gear, but my dice just haven't been having it. I haven't rolled more than 3 hits on 11 dice and Lockdown hasn't rolled less than 3 on 13.

Meanwhile, the team takes the stairs briskly in a downward spiral, several hundred feet with with no opportunities for exit until they reach the bottom. The composition of the descent's architecture slowly changes from modern building to facsimile of an ancient Mayan stone temple, and the team finds themselves standing in front of a large reinforced stone door decorated with murals and hieroglyphics. It would appear that some technology has been infused with the design, as a biometric scanner for hand and eye appears to be the only means of opening the door. The door is thick reinforced stone (structure rating 19), and Cage tells the group he doesn't care for the idea of shredding the skin off of his knuckles punching the door for 8 minutes. Collateral nods, tells everyone to get back up the stairs a good 30 meters, sets two of his fragmentation grenades to wireless trigger, backs up the stairs with the team, and detonates them creating a 1 meter hole in the door [Collateral wanted to play with the making a bigger boom Engineering rules, but quickly realized there was no way for him to get away with less than 2 grenades here, so didn't bother].

As the cloud of dust and shrapnel settles, the team comes back down the stairs, ducking and entering through the 3 meter hole into the temple. The smell of blood and more murals and hieroglyphics on the stone walls greet them, as do five patients from the ward above chained to the walls. Wailing fearfully and casting fevered warnings at the team, they swiftly set to freeing the patients who flee up the stairs, but are set upon by five human men dressed in ancient mayan warrior garb, complete with painted faces, and wielding macuahuitls. I used the following stat block, largely adapted from the Marine Corps Special Operations Forces template, pg. 208.:

Leopard Guard Adepts, Professional Rating 8
Attributes: B 6, A 6 (9), R 5 (8), S 5, W 6, L 3, I 4, C 4; M 8
   DR 9, I 4d6+12, CM 11
Skills: Astral 4, Athletics 8, Close Combat 8 (10; axes +2), Outdoors 4, Perception 8, Stealth 7
Adept Powers (10 PP): Combat Sense 4, Improved Ability (Close Combat) 2, Improved Physical Attribute (Agility) 3, Improved Reflexes 3
Initiate Level: 2
Gear: Ceremonial bone and wood armor (as armor vest +3), commlink (device rating 6)
Weapons:
Macuahuitl (combat axe) rating 1 weapon foci [Axe, DV 5P, 9/-/-/-/-]

We roll Initiative, and have the following order: LG Adepts (40 on 4d6+12, plus 12 from 4 edge), Collateral (35 on 5d6+15), Revenant (31 on 3d6+18), Cage (30 on 4d6+13), Sovereign's air spirit (26 on 2d6+16), Revenant's water spirit (24 on 2d6+14), Sovereign (22 on 3d6+12), Lockdown (21 on 3d6+9).

Wanting to make sure these guys get a chance to act before being slaughtered by grenades, I spend 1/2 their group edge for an Initiative boost. It works. Heeding the warning from the security spider, the grunts group charge down Collateral before he gets a chance to act. Macuahuitl's already readied, they spend a major action to sprint towards Collateral, as they have 16 meters of distance to cross to get to him and a minor move action will not suffice. Seeing what's coming down the pipe for his small friend, Cage spends a minor action for Intercept, and a major action to attack one of the grunts as they pass him on their way to Collateral. Cage goes for a grapple to ensure the adept doesn't make it to attack the much frailer human, automatically generating 2 edge for his attack (one for the double-joined quality, and a second for AR 21 vs. DR 9, lol). Cage palms the humans face, lifting his entire body off of the ground and squeezing his skull like an cantaloupe, and the adept is grappled and takes 7P damage [7 hits on 18 dice for close combat vs. 6 hits on 16 dice for defense; then 6 hits on 15 dice for strength (+2 for carry over hits instead of extra damage for grappling) vs. 3 hits on 5 dice for strength; finally 3 hits on 6 dice for soak vs. 10P]. The remaining 4 grunts exchange 4 of their 5 minor actions to take a second major action to attack Collateral, neither side gaining edge (AR 12 vs. DR 12). Collateral pre-edges his defense test and spends a minor action for dodge, causing the adepts to miss [10 hits on 23 dice vs. 12 hits on 27 pre-edged dice], taking 3P damage [2 hits on 5 dice soak vs. 5P].

Collateral delays.

Revenant delays.

Cage exchanges his 4 remaining minor actions for a second major to damage opponent in a grapple. He gains no edge, having already maxed out for the turn on his first action, but crushes the adept's skull into a chunky mess, killing him. [9 hits on 23 dice (close combat + strength rather than agility vs. opponent you have already grappled vs. 4 hits on 13 dice (strength + reaction + adept combat sense - 4 for the grappled opponent...; 2 hits on 6 dice for soak vs. 15P].

Sovereign's air spirit uses a minor action to move 10 meters from one of the adepts on Collateral, and a major action for elemental attack. The spirit misses [5 hits on 15 dice for attack. vs 6 hits on 16 dice for defense].

Revenant's water spirit does the exact same, also missing [4 hits on 13 dice for attack vs. 7 hits on 16 dice for defense].

Sovereign uses a minor action to moves 10 meters away from the adepts, and a major action to cast control thoughts on one of the adepts. He goes for broke, attempting to make the adept turn on his allies (for which I award him 1 edge, but he cannot make use of it at present), but still manages to succeed [6 hits on 14 dice for spellcasting vs. 2 hits and 3 hits on 9 dice for two WIL + LOG resistance tests for the thought being too far outside the norm]. He buys his 4 drain.

Lockdown uses a minor action to move 10 meters away from the adepts, and a major action to open up on one of them with burst fire. Neither side gains edge (AR 9 vs. DR 9), and Lockdown hits for 6P [6 hits on 17 dice for attack vs. 5 hits on 16 dice for defense; 2 hits on 6 dice for soak vs. 8P].

Collateral undelays, using a minor action to move 10 meters away from the adepts, and a major action for, you guessed it, a grenade on the perfectly clustered mass. Neither side gains edge [AR 9 vs. DR 9], and Collateral obviously hits and obliterates the four remaining (whom have no remaining actions to even hit the dirt with). [6 hits on 20 dice for throwing, 8 on 2d6 for scatter +2 which is just enough for on target; none of them roll the 5 hits needed on 6 dice for soak to survive the 16P].

Cage also has no remaining actions to help mitigate the incoming close range 8P, so spends 4 edge to pre-edge his soak roll, taking only 1P [7 hits on 16 pre-edged dice for soak]. The remainder of Collateral, Lockdown, Revenant, Sovereign, and both friendly spirits all hit the dirt for 6P. Collateral takes 3P [3 hits on 5 dice for soak], Lockdown takes 2P [4 hits on 10 dice for soak], Revenant takes 2P [4 hits on 13 dice for soak], Sovereign takes 4P [2 hits on 5 dice for soak], and neither spirit takes damage due to immunity to normal weapons.

Dusting themselves off while Collateral apologizes profusely, Revenant and Sovereign begin healing up the shrapnel damage on the team. Cage is healed for 1 after essence sink soaking hits, Collateral is healed for 1 after essence sink soaking hits, Lockdown for 2 after essence sink soaking hits, and Revenant and Sovereign fully healed. All drain is successfully bought. This leaves Cage and Collateral with 2P damage, and Lockdown with 1P to this point.

Scene 10: Raise your hand if you are a filthy blood mage

As the team delves further into the temple they come across thick stone reinforced blast doors, sealed with wards, with murals of nightmare creatures and mayan hieroglyphics labeling them. The feelings of loss and dread begins to become palpable for the team, who resolve to leave those doors alone unless absolutely necessary. At the end of the corridor, a final ward bars progress down the hallway, at the end of which they see flickering torchlight and hear a single voice chanting. A quick assensing roll from Sovereign informs him that the ward's magic is equal to his own. Cage, Collateral, and Lockdown all cross the ward with ease. With a shrug, Revenant and Sovereign each instruct one of their spirits to bring the barrier down, which they easily accomplish, after which they hurry through before it reforms. The moment the barrier collapses, the chanting down the hall stops, and the team prepares to face the blood mage beyond.

As the hall comes to end in a circular 8 meter room, the torchlight grows from flickering to illuminating. A pillar of skulls with hieroglyphics etched in them, stained with dried blood, stands towards the back of the room. In front of it is a man in a white physician's coat, wearing an elaborate ceremonial mask of beads, bones, feathers, stones, and blood. The team has a brief exchange with him, in which it becomes it is Dr. Ruiz, and he has lost his mind and turned himself over to "the old masters from the dark realms". This place is monument to their inevitability, and he works to hasten their arrival so that all may feel the certainty and comfort of their oblivion. The team's heard enough. Dr. Ruiz has the following stats:

Dr. Lorenzo Ruiz, Pawn of Horrors
Attributes: B 6 (10), A 3, R 5 (9), S 3, W 6 (10), L 6 (10), I 6 (10), C 4 (8); M 9, E 5
   DR 14, I 5d6+19, CM 13/13
Skills: Astral 7, Athletics 4, Biotech 6, Close Combat 3, Con 6, Conjuring 8 (water [blood] +2), Firearms 3, Influence 7 (Intimidation +2), Perception 7, Spellcasting 9 (combat +3, illusion +2), Stealth 6
Spells: Blast, Clout, Combat Sense, Confusion, Heal, Increase Attributes, Increase Reflexes, Manaball, Manabolt, Shape Stone, Stunball, Stunbolt
Initiate Level: 5
Metamagics: Centering, flexible signature, masking, quickening, shielding
Gear: Centering foci (rating 4; ancient mayan mask), commlink (device rating 6)
Weapons:
Ritual knife rating 1 weapon foci [Combat Knife, DV 3P, 8/2/-/-/-]

A few dice rolls later says we go in this order: Dr. Ruiz (39 on 5d6+19), Collateral (39 on 5d6+15 plus 3 from 1 edge), Cage (37 on 4d6+13 plus 6 from 2 edge), Revenant (30 on 3d6+18), Dr. Ruiz's force 8 blood spirit (24 on 2d6 +18), Sovereign's air spirit (22 on 2d6+16), Sovereign (22 on 3d6+12), Revenant's water spirit (20 on 2d6+14), Lockdown (19 on 3d6+9).

Dr. Ruiz opens with a major action to cast confusion, turning it into an area of effect spell with a 12 meter radius for +6 drain (the rest of the team is 10 meters behind Cage and Revenant]. Both Revenant and Sovereign take a counterspell major action for boosted defense in response. Sovereign uses 12 reagents to increase the radius of the effect to 12 meters. Revenant's 2 meter radius defense boot provides 4 defense dice against spells [4 hits on 12 dice] and Sovereign's 12 meter radius defense boost provides 5 dice against spells [5 hits on 12 dice]. Dr. Ruiz spell succeeds [8 hits on 20 dice for spellcasting], and his 29 drain dice easily buy the 6 drain. Cage, who benefits from both boosted defense's radius, is effected, gaining the Confused (3) status [5 hits on 15 dice vs. 8 hits]. Revenant, whom also benefits from both, is uneffected [8 hits on 20 dice vs. 8 hits]. Collateral is effected, gaining the Confused (4) status [4 hits on 14 dice vs. 8 hits]. Lockdown is uneffected [8 hits on 21 dice vs. 8 hits], and Sovereign gets obliterated, gaining the Confused (6) status [2!? hits on 16 dice].

Dr. Ruiz spends a second major action for full defense, and his final minor action to move 10 meters beside the trolls.

Cage takes the opportunity to spend a minor action for intercept and a major action to attempt to grapple Ruiz. Cage gains 2 edge (double-jointed and AR 21 vs. DR 14), but misses [5 hits on 15 dice for grapple vs. 8 hits on 29 dice for defense].

Collateral spends a minor action to move 10 meters further away from the trolls and ruiz, yells "I love you guys and I'm sorry but this needs to happen!", and throws a grenade as a major action. Cage spends a minor action to avoid incoming, making it 3 meters away from the ground zero explosion into close range and falling prone [3 hits on 9 dice after confusion and ground zero dodge penalty]. Reveant knows he has no prayer of avoiding incoming, and just spends a minor to hit the dirt. Lockdown, Sovereign, and the team's spirit all hit the dirt with minor actions. Revenant and Ruiz gain edge from the attack (AR 10 vs. DR 14 and 18], Collateral makes his attack roll, his grenade hitting Ruiz in the face before detonating [5 hits on 16 dice for throwing after confusion, 7 scatter on 2d6 + 2 near range bonus = direct hit]. Ruiz takes 9P [7 hits on 15 pre-edged soak dice. vs. 16P], Cage takes 5P [5 hits on 12 dice for soak], Revenant takes 9P [5 hits on 13 dice for soak], Lockdown takes 2P [4 hits on 10 dice for soak vs. 6P], Sovereign takes 3P [3 hits on 5 dice for soak vs. 6P], and all three of the spirits are immune to the 6P because grenades aren't magical.

He then spends a second major action to continue singing the song of his people, this time putting the grenade 2 meters behind Ruiz, reasoning that should finish him off and spare Cage and Revenant some damage. Revenant and Ruiz both gain another point of edge. Cage never misses [5 hits on 16 dice for throwing with confused status, 6 on 2d6 scatter +2 near range bonus = lol autowin]. Ruiz explodes in a shower of gore, taking another 8P [4 hits on 10 dice for soak vs. 12P]. Revenant faces down another 10P, taking 4 of it [6 hits on 13 dice after edge turning a 4 into a 5 vs. 10P]. Cage takes no damage [6 hits on 12 dice for soak vs. 6P], Lockdown takes 3P [3 hits on 10 dice for soak vs. 6P], Sovereign takes 4P [2 hits on 5 dice for soak vs. 6P], and the three spirits again unharmed.

The blood spirit vanishing with it's summoner's demise, the team spends a minute healing up, nowhere near to full this time (the rolls don't matter, the fighting is over). After spending a bit more time ransacking Ruiz's lab, they find his journal and Lockdown downloads his data from his commlink, clearly implicating him in Nora's death, and far, far worse.

The team returns to a grateful Jonathan, gets paid, and got their first glimpse at world's old threat, neither gone nor forgotten.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-05-19/1439:49>
To now answer Hobbes, did we have fun? Of course. In no particular order, our various thoughts after a long session:

(All of us): Is 6e playable? Yes. Was it fun? Yes. Could it have been done better? Yes. 5e or 6e? For missions, which is the bulk of our play, whatever is current. For home, definitely 5e.

(All of us): Spirits are really terrible in terms of game balance. Considering from the perspective of at magic rating summoning, soaking the drain is a trivial joke, but successfully getting net hits for services is really tough. None of us felt that the force 6 spirits were particularly good for offense vs. PC offense, but in terms of being a damage sponge for the group, they are second to none.

(All of us): Ware-based characters come out of the door really, really good compared to 5e, as well as very good for 6e comparison to other options. Considering they do not have the growth potential of adepts, we consider this a good thing.

(All of us): Healing low essence characters is a nightmare though. Sure, it was tougher in 5e as well, but in 5e it cost you dice off of your roll instead of hits directly which is an enormous difference. Because of this we pretty much all agreed that if you are rocking less than 14 defense dice and 10 soak on a ware based character you are probably better off being an adept in terms of raw survivability over multiple encounters.

(All of us): Fuck explosives. Seriously, what in the hell were you guys thinking?

Please
Give
Them
A
Defense
Test
For
Fuck's
Sake

There is no reason for a combat mage to exist anymore, just throw a grenade. Even just using the lowest possible damage and radius of 6P to everyone within 20 meters, an equivalent spell would have to come from a Magic rating 12 mage who increased by area of effect by 18 meters for +9 drain.

(All of us): Impaired attribute is too good and needs reworked.

(All of us): A lot of the qualities on both sides are kind of boring, and/or not worth the points. They all made their characters separately, and all picked almost exactly the same stuff.

(Cage): Grappling was extremely effective, and extremely fun. It locks your opponent's movement down, and provides a superior damage formula (close combat + strength instead of close combat + agility). He wouldn't want to run the build on anything but a dwarf or troll though, and he felt like he wasted an awful lot of edge because after just one attack him from any other gain opportunity was wasted resources.

(Collateral): The only reason his build was effective was because of a grossly overpowered and undercosted item. He said if he had resorted to throwing stars at any point in time he would have felt useless. He also loved that Stealth is also usable to disguising now, which added a whole new element to his character that he didn't anticipate.

(Lockdown): Appreciates how much simpler the matrix is to use this time around. Being he was only 4 dice off of his maximum non-magically assisted ability to run silent, he feels that the host IC dice pools are a bit too high once you get into higher end hosts. He thought rating x1.5 would be better than rating x2.

(Revenant): Is sour that there is no option to come out of chargen with additional magical resources.

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-05-19/1517:07>
Glad y'all had fun!   :D
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Iron Serpent Prince on <09-05-19/1528:05>
In no particular order, our various thoughts after a long session:

Good stuff, clipped only for brevity

For an apples to oranges comparison, my group hated the Edge system.

No, wait.  That isn't fair.  They absolutely despised the Edge system. [2]

They found it too gamey, too finickey, and worst of all - too integrated [1], which over all made it too much of a pain in the ass.

[1] Unfortunately, just about everything revolves around Edge in 6th, so you can't just remove it and have a half way working system.

[2] My group plays via VTT (Virtual Table Top), and unlike Star Trek Adventures Momentum and Threat, there isn't only two pools that only one person had to have access to (in Roll20, you can use a single token and modify two of the stat bars [Blue for Momentum, Red for Threat - as an example].  In Shadowrun Sixth World, every. Single. Important. Character. Plus. Every. Group.  Needs there own Edge pool to track.  On top of that, it isn't just part of the system, as in ST:A above [3], it is a meta-currency to be gained as often as possible and spent just as quick.  Without it, there is no reason to even spend money on 6th.

[3]  Sure, Momentum can be gamed in ST:A.  The whole rule system isn't built around it, however, so gaming Momentum is only so useful.


It is as if the designers didn't even give VTT gameplay any lip service as they built up the NuEdge steaming pile of dogdrek.  :( 

Lormyr, I'm going to make an assumption that y'all played face-to-face?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-05-19/1534:00>
Lormyr: thanks for the detailed writeup, this is really good stuff.

(All of us): A lot of the qualities on both sides are kind of boring, and/or not worth the points. They all made their characters separately, and all picked almost exactly the same stuff.
One of players, who has read 6e, is of the opinion that the qualities are boring/samey because many of them just change Edge generation. Was that your group's complaint, or was it something else?

Quote
he felt like he wasted an awful lot of edge because after just one attack him from any other gain opportunity was wasted resources.
How did the rest of the table feel about Edge capping in general? It's a sort point with my table.

Quote
(Lockdown): Appreciates how much simpler the matrix is to use this time around. Being he was only 4 dice off of his maximum non-magically assisted ability to run silent, he feels that the host IC dice pools are a bit too high once you get into higher end hosts. He thought rating x1.5 would be better than rating x2.
I am working on backporting the 6e Matrix to 5e, so this is good to hear.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-05-19/1543:57>
Glad y'all had fun!   :D

We've been gaming together over 10 years, so hard not to.

Iron Serpent Prince, I mostly agree with you. We never really cared much for the pre/post mechanic of edge in 5e because it felt too powerful, so in a sense I am glad to at least see that harder to do in 6e.

Because most of my NPCs got detonated by grenades before getting to do much, I didn't get to play with the edge actions much, but few of them would have been worth using due to the specific NPCs and PC builds I had to work with.

My main gripe with the new edge system is that it is I find it to be unnecessary clutter, that primarily allows options and strategies to function with expenditure that should just function on their own.

I did forget one thing though, which is I feel a love/hate relationship with grunt groups. I love their ease, and I hate how they work with edge. A good example is when the adept group attacked Collateral. He only needed 1 pre-edge and 1 minor action to avoid the group entirely, where as if the 4 would have attacked individually there is a much better chance he would have been hit a few times because he couldn't have done both of those things against every attacker. On the fence on groups for now.

One of players, who has read 6e, is of the opinion that the qualities are boring/samey because many of them just change Edge generation. Was that your group's complaint, or was it something else?

In a nutshell, yes, along with the pricing for them being seeming illogical for what you get when compared to one another.

How did the rest of the table feel about Edge capping in general? It's a sort point with my table.

None of us hated the edge system, but we all shared a mild distaste for it - think of how you regard the times you wake up in the morning really thirsty, with that sticky white garbage on the corner of your mouth? Like that.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-05-19/1601:56>
You could have thrown cheese back to the cheesemeister by having an NPC spend 5 edge "for a special effect": catch the grenade and throw it back to Collateral.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-05-19/1640:11>
You could have thrown cheese back to the cheesemeister by having an NPC spend 5 edge "for a special effect": catch the grenade and throw it back to Collateral.

With the grenades set to detonate on impact that isn't a realistic option imo. I understand that is sort of the purpose of that application of the 5 edge, but I was not prepared to allow that permit an non-mechanic game mechanic (this does whatever you want so long as the GM says so) to defeat a hard rule of "this detonates on impact".

Besides, it wasn't necessary. If NPCs armed with grenades ever get to act first, and use those grenades, it is not possible for PCs to survive at any point in their karma career.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-05-19/1706:42>

Besides, it wasn't necessary. If NPCs armed with grenades ever get to act first, and use those grenades, it is not possible for PCs to survive at any point in their karma career.

Rocks Fall.  Everyone Dies.   :P
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-06-19/1229:04>
Lormyr, thanks for taking the time to do such detailed write-ups. Also, thanks for the thoughts and reviews.

I had the same thoughts about Qualities. Grappling too.

Your PCs are (in my opinion) highly optimized. In your experience, does that put more stress on 6E's rules than it does to 5E's?

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1443:06>
Your PCs are (in my opinion) highly optimized. In your experience, does that put more stress on 6E's rules than it does to 5E's?

Yes and no.

In 5e, you could create an armored cyberlimb bearing, heavy milspec wearing, soak dice optimized minotaur juggernaut that could be packing soak pools in the 60 dice +11 automatic hits from the milspec range, plus just be immune to attacks that have a combined DV+AP of less than 23 literally out of character generation. Other than direct combat spells, no reasonable opposition will hurt that character, not even the triple-tap sniper without an improbable amount of net hits.

In 5e, you can build a mystic adept with such a high defense pool that only another mystic adept or adept with an unreasonably high rating weapon foci, running both analyze device and benefiting from a technomancer's machine sprite diagnostics will have a snowball's chance in hell of ever hitting them.

The same is true of resisting magic. After you have your base (usually) two quickened increase attribute augmented attributes to resist the spell, then add your ranks of adept spell resistance, and counterspell skill, and body+magic+initiate grade from harmonious defense, not even the likes of lord gwyn, harlequin, and lowfyr with their magic attributes 30+ could land a spell.

5e was the system of supreme defense where you couldn't be touched by anything in the ballpark of an equally advanced opponent if you chose to build that way.

6e overall is more balanced towards the center at the "base level", but when you compare the optimized levels vs. one another the entire thing falls apart with offense standing victorious.

The attack pool vs. offense pool is it a good ratio. You basically have agility + augmentation, plus 1 from smartlink, plus 1 from reflex recorder, or plus improved ability and plus weapon foci rating vs. intuition, reaction, attribute augmentation (favors mages), plus combat sense (adept only). That default favors offense calculations, but when you factor in action options of block, dodge, and full defense it evens out well enough.

Damage vs. soak is the opposite of 5e. At the low end of offense, it is decently balanced. I would say average soak pool is probably 4 or 5, with the absolute max being 14. Against small arms like pistols, knives, and clubs around DV 3P, that scale holds up decently. When we get into FN-HAR burst firing explosive rounds for 8P, a troll punching you in the eye for 11P, or a grenade exploding in your face for 16P, it completely breaks down to the point of being insulting to suggest the person even bother to soak if they get hit.

Overall 5e is more broken, but broken favoring PC survival vs. broken favoring PCs being evaporated. Literally all it would have taken would have been me to give each of those five adepts a single grenade at the end of our play and it would have been a guaranteed party wipe.

I think playstyle is going to be an even bigger issue for 6e than 5e. Players who's style differs from their GMs are going to have a much harder time having fun.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: skalchemist on <09-06-19/1503:00>
Lormyr, thanks for these detailed posts.

I admit I was utterly astonished by the shear volume of dice being thrown around.  I haven't played/ran Shadowrun since 1E, so my memories of it are hazy.  I will need to reverse engineer a few of these described rolls just to figure out how those numbers of dice happen.  I mean, one roll has 35 freakin' dice! 

One question: to what extent is the problem with grenades not so much that they are overpowered, but that it seems so easy for player characters to endure being close to them going off? 
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-06-19/1607:54>
Yeah in both 5e and 6we the rules were designed with a mindset of PCs throwing 9-12 dice or so against NPCs with 6 to 10-ish dice pools.  Of course it was easily enough possible, even in chargen, to bust those expectations wide open.

6we introduces some new limits that weren't in 5e, but you can still hit 16 or even 20 or more dice in a task, right out of chargen.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-06-19/1727:02>
5e was the system of supreme defense where you couldn't be touched by anything in the ballpark of an equally advanced opponent if you chose to build that way.

6e overall is more balanced towards the center at the "base level", but when you compare the optimized levels vs. one another the entire thing falls apart with offense standing victorious.

...

Overall 5e is more broken, but broken favoring PC survival vs. broken favoring PCs being evaporated.

Thanks again. Good insights.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1733:14>
I haven't played/ran Shadowrun since 1E, so my memories of it are hazy.  I will need to reverse engineer a few of these described rolls just to figure out how those numbers of dice happen.  I mean, one roll has 35 freakin' dice!

That roll was assisted by two dice pool adding actions. Intuition 9 + Reaction 9 + Combat Sense 6 + full defense 6 (Willpower) + dodge 5 (athletics).

One question: to what extent is the problem with grenades not so much that they are overpowered, but that it seems so easy for player characters to endure being close to them going off?

I suppose that is a matter of perspective. I did not find it easy for either the PCs or NPCs to endure being close to them going off (for note, I consider "close" to the be either the ground zero range damage or close range damage). Not even the two trolls, who had the highest soak pools at 12 and 13 dice, were able to be at close range without taking damage, and their soak rolls were both frequently (if only slightly) higher than statistically average. Two ground zero explosions would have killed either of the two, period. The rest of the team struggled just to deal with the "near" range (17 meters!?) 8P.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-06-19/1743:44>
Yes, I'd also like to thank you Lormyr for sharing your thoughts and detailed note-taking.

I believe I know your answer already, but I'll ask anyway to be sure:

Do you think the Avoid Incoming and Hit the Dirt actions are insufficient defensive options against grenades?  Do you think being allowed to Avoid Incoming more than once (or after you've already Moved) would have made a difference in your playtest?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1747:05>
Upon further investigation, I also want to add that I believe they buffed up cyberware too much in comparison to the adept power points. While I am in favor of cyberware coming out the door more efficiently, it went too far. Let's take a quick and how many power points Cage effectively had in cyberware:

8 power points into improved physical attribute for his muscle replacement 4.
7.5 powers points for bone density 4 (which is 4 into improved attribute for the soak application, 2 into critical strike for the augmented unarmed damage, and 0.5 into mystic armor for the +2 DR)
3 power points into increased reflexes for his synaptic booster 3
1 power point into improved ability for reflex recorder in athletics

That is 19.5 power points vs. a starting adept's maximum of 4. Not only is that 14.5 power points better out of the gate, but it would take the adept a minimum of Magic Attribute 10, Initiate Level 9 for 360 karma (maybe 60 game sessions?) just to break even. Wow.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1756:27>
Do you think the Avoid Incoming and Hit the Dirt actions are insufficient defensive options against grenades?  Do you think being allowed to Avoid Incoming more than once (or after you've already Moved) would have made a difference in your playtest?

I appreciate you asking!

My philosophy is very simple: If a character takes an action that negatively impacts another character it should always require an opposed roll. Period, no exception. So in that vein, even if avoiding/dodging a grenade explosion isn't terribly realistic, that is acceptable when opposed to game balance being completely destroyed by staying to appropriate realism.

Avoid Incoming was actually even less useful than I thought it would be, which was already of vital importance. The main reason why is that stiff dodge penalty. Even Cage, who had 8 agility and 8 athletics, had a hard time clearing the close range 12P damage after that -6 ground zero penalty.

If for some reason the powers that be just cannot get on board with at least bringing things closer to the SR standard of attack test vs. dodge test, allowing multiple avoid incoming as remaining actions allow would at least help a little in terms of surviving a situation of multiple grenades in a combat, let alone in the same turn.

Hit the dirt is solid as is. 1 minor action for a flat -2 damage off the top is a good trade.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-06-19/1759:55>
...That is 19.5 power points vs. a starting adept's maximum of 4. Not only is that 14.5 power points better out of the gate, but it would take the adept a minimum of Magic Attribute 10, Initiate Level 9 for 360 karma (maybe 60 game sessions?) just to break even. Wow.

I'm not saying that you don't have a point.. but Qi Foci are still a thing.  Most any adept would be getting a big one of those (or several smaller ones for "hot swappable" Adept powers) rather than going  for brute, raw PP gain thru Initiation only.

Between Adepts being able to toggle between powers, having powers that aren't hackable, and having access to the Astral world (if not being able to PROJECT into it...) I'd expect that cyberbois OUGHT to have a better than 1:1 advantage in raw power.  You might be right that it's skewed too far, but I don't think it's as skewed as far as you seem to think it is.

Do you think the Avoid Incoming and Hit the Dirt actions are insufficient defensive options against grenades?  Do you think being allowed to Avoid Incoming more than once (or after you've already Moved) would have made a difference in your playtest?

I appreciate you asking!

My philosophy is very simple: If a character takes an action that negatively impacts another character it should always require an opposed roll. Period, no exception. So in that vein, even if avoiding/dodging a grenade explosion isn't terribly realistic, that is acceptable when opposed to game balance being completely destroyed by staying to appropriate realism.

Avoid Incoming was actually even less useful than I thought it would be, which was already of vital importance. The main reason why is that stiff dodge penalty. Even Cage, who had 8 agility and 8 athletics, had a hard time clearing the close range 12P damage after that -6 ground zero penalty.

If for some reason the powers that be just cannot get on board with at least bringing things closer to the SR standard of attack test vs. dodge test, allowing multiple avoid incoming as remaining actions allow would at least help a little in terms of surviving a situation of multiple grenades in a combat, let alone in the same turn.

Hit the dirt is solid as is. 1 minor action for a flat -2 damage off the top is a good trade.

I think your feedback is rather useful.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1807:49>
I'm not saying that you don't have a point.. but Qi Foci are still a thing.  Most any adept would be getting a big one of those (or several smaller ones for "hot swappable" Adept powers) rather than going  for brute, raw PP gain thru Initiation only.

Between Adepts being able to toggle between powers, having powers that aren't hackable, and having access to the Astral world (if not being able to PROJECT into it...) I'd expect that cyberbois OUGHT to have a better than 1:1 advantage in raw power.  You might be right that it's skewed too far, but I don't think it's as skewed as far as you seem to think it is.

You aren't wrong, but I personally think that foci are in the top three list of things that need to be re-considered, re-balanced, and re-worked from the ground up, as they are one of the primary things that helps magic continue to completely dominate the game.

So I agree with you that they go a long way to bridge the gap I mentioned, but they are also basically like cheating the system too, so not an ideal solution.

I also think your perception that ware should have a better than 1:1 ratio vs. power points is legit. But right now, out of chargen, it is closer to 5:1, which is kind of insane.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-06-19/1813:48>
You aren't wrong, but I personally think that foci are in the top three list of things that need to be re-considered, re-balanced, and re-worked from the ground up, as they are one of the primary things that helps magic continue to completely dominate the game.

Hey, I'd love to hear your views on this in more detail, but let's not disrupt the thread.  HMU in PM or on the CDT discord chat?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Tecumseh on <09-06-19/1846:44>
I think the thread has concluded, at least in terms of the original intent to offer a practical review of the rules.

As such, I'm not sure we're really derailing it by picking Lormyr's brains on specific systems and subsystems.

Since this thread is basically Lormyr holding court, I wouldn't mind hearing his thoughts on foci.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1904:36>
Sent you a PM, but it is not showing up in my sent folder for some reason. Please confirm if you receive it or not.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-06-19/1909:04>
Tecumseh, if others want to hear it as well I will post it here too. Otherwise I'll send you a PM later as well.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-06-19/1917:59>
I did get your PM Lormyr.  But if more of us want to discuss Foci, why not just start a new thread? :)
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-07-19/0743:01>
Since this thread is basically Lormyr holding court, I wouldn't mind hearing his thoughts on foci.
+1, to both (Lormyr holding court in general, and foci in specific.)

Something else I pondered, having looked across the characters ó Lormyr, do you think the 50% discount for used cyberware is a bit too generous?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-07-19/1004:36>
A cut and paste from what I said to SSD:

So it basically breaks down like this:

A lot of people believe that quickening is the primary culprit, but it's not. Being able to permanently maintain a spell is only as useful as the spell itself. 6e fixed most of this problem by removing the defensive applications of armor, astral armor, deflection, prophylaxis, and so on. In 6e the power spells to quicken are increase attribute, increase reflexes, and levitate. Now that is still a very strong retinue of effects, but comparably so to ware and power points for augmentation, so at present it does not have a distinct advantage over other augmentation options aside from versatility (mental attributes).

The primary culprit is dice pool disparity, of which foci are a huge contributor. When the victim's maximum resistance pool is Attribute + Attribute (basically 20 dice at absolute maximum, and only if augmented by a mage since Willpower factors into almost every roll), but the caster's dice pool is Magic (no cap!?) + Skill (13 after max ranks and expertise) + foci (also no cap!?) of course magic is going to be an unstoppable force. You set the math up to be unbeatable from go. The disparity starts off minimal at chargen, and only increases in favor of the mage exponentially the more karma each character has.

I mean, just look at the formulas. If you consider going from Magic 6 to 12 with karma vs. 6 to 12 with a power foci the cost comparison is a joke. Sure, using foci has some downsides, but: 1), those downsides are non-existent vs. mundanes, which is the main balance problem to begin with, and 2), most of the time they are trivial because the God mage does not care about mortal concerns when he can cast his way through very nearly any issue.

The second reason foci are a problem is because not only do they add to your dice pool to make your chosen effect successfully function, they also add to your dice pool to resist the damage you take for making those effects better. Attribute + Attribute (again, 20 being an average cap with elves having a 3 die advantage) + Initiative Level (again, no cap) + foci rating (again, no cap).

By the time a mage has 100 karma, an optimized one will have a spellcasting dice pool and drain resistance dice pool both over 25.

That said, I don't have a problem with foci existing. The concept is cool, and it could be introduced in a balanced way. The bottom line is that magic, both the attribute and foci, need a maximum potential cap for mortal PCs. If you want to have dragons and immortal elves go higher, sure. Attribute cap of 12 and foci cap of 4 (with 4 being absurdly rare artifact level item, and with a dramatic cost increase across the board) would be my recommendation. Even then it still leaves magic at an advantage, but not with unlimited potential.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-07-19/1234:13>
Given the edge system I was surprised focuses didnít go that route like so much else. Like just two levels of focusses minor and major. Minor grants one edge that has to be used or lost in its field major also reduces the cost of edge use by one when using with the skill or ability its linked to.

Like a minor centering focus would give one edge when resisting drain and a major would also reduce the cost of using edge by 1.

Personally Iím fine with unlimited magic attribute just allow mundanes to increase their essence and reduce the cost of cyber so itís something people can realistically buy in game.

 As an aside Iíd rather they had kept the spells like 5e maybe some limits on stacking but removed unlimited sustaining. And I feel all magically active types should get sensitive system as a built in flaw for no points.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: markelphoenix on <09-08-19/1044:08>
For me, it comes down to the player and the GM. Last night, ran a 6e game, and everything played out fairly balanced. MVP actually went to the Decker for finding valuable data on target and follow up to our tweaky elf gun slinger who Panther Cannoned the big bad to the face. Mage provided heal support, levitated another baddy, and lightning while another mage made some crispy ghouls with a fireball. Over all, everyone got opportunity to take the stage and have meaningful contributions.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-08-19/1051:50>
Glad you guys had fun Markelphoenix.

There is two factors to your experience there imo: 1st is play style in terms of optimization, 2nd is play style in terms of being a selfish player or a team player.

Playing on the "default" level, 6e holds up decently, even if I personally really dislike some of the changes (armor and strength specifically - it's playable, just nonsensical in a fashion I have a had time accepting). Once you get into high optimization though it gets really screwy really quickly.

The second situation has nothing at all to do with the game or mechanics, and is strictly an issue of player personality, though one with a huge impact on how the actual game will go. I find gaming to be most fun when everyone shares the limelight, but some people disagree and others just don't care about anyone's experience other than their own.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: markelphoenix on <09-08-19/1313:57>
I was a huge critic of Armor change until actually rolling the dice. The soaks of 5e were insane, so I get where they're coming from. Also, I noticed my players becoming Edge starved pretty quickly, so while people scoff at 1 edge from defense rating, it matters. Still not sure how to bridge the gap of "suspension of disbelief" that gets broken by armor's new function, though.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-08-19/1415:56>
I was a huge critic of Armor change until actually rolling the dice. The soaks of 5e were insane, so I get where they're coming from. Also, I noticed my players becoming Edge starved pretty quickly, so while people scoff at 1 edge from defense rating, it matters. Still not sure how to bridge the gap of "suspension of disbelief" that gets broken by armor's new function, though.

That feels like it could just be the simply be the damage to soak ratio feeling right. Iíve said it before I donít think the math on this isnít bad outside some system mastery levels of explosive rounds burst etc but that doesnít mean the armor gives the right feel. Itís easy to blow through edge so even if you gained one a turn from armor youíd constantly be running out. The issues people have is 2 edge limit stops it from helping you quick and there actually is a pretty narrow range where it matters. It has to be the right gun at the right range band with the right ammo because 4 points is a pretty big spread.

So while the soak pool may feel right armor might not. Weíve only done test scenarios so I canít comment on like a run or ongoing campaign vibe of armor. But for us in the one off fights it didnít feel like armor.

Even using the current games damages I donít know that letting armor soak would throw things much. Yeah full armor a bit but armor jacket and a mask thatís like 1 less damage when shot. For me I donít feel that would skew the math much but it would still feel like armor.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hephaestus on <09-09-19/1403:18>
Even using the current games damages I donít know that letting armor soak would throw things much. Yeah full armor a bit but armor jacket and a mask thatís like 1 less damage when shot. For me I donít feel that would skew the math much but it would still feel like armor.

+1 to this. The more I read about it, the more it feels like the removal of armor from soak was to force people to be reliant on Edge expenditures to reduce damage. Adding armor back into the soak pool might get you 1-2 additional hits, with the exception of skewed Troll Tanks in FBA.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-10-19/1010:12>
Personally Iím fine with unlimited magic attribute just allow mundanes to increase their essence and reduce the cost of cyber so itís something people can realistically buy in game.

While I find that idea to be decent in theory, in practice this is the problem I run into: at some point, many of the ware options either become redundant (muscle replacement with muscle toner, ect.), and some builds have no use for some ware.

More magic, on the other hand, never ceases to be useful, even if after a certain point of just more overkill it becomes diminishing returns.

As an aside Iíd rather they had kept the spells like 5e maybe some limits on stacking but removed unlimited sustaining. And I feel all magically active types should get sensitive system as a built in flaw for no points.

Well they did create stacking limits in a sense by simply removing the use of many combat enhancing spells (combat sense, armor, deflection, ect., pretty much everything but increase attribute and increase reflexes). I personally dislike that, and think that a hard cap of quickened spells = to magic attribute would have been a better limit.

Also, I noticed my players becoming Edge starved pretty quickly

I noticed the same.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-10-19/1337:34>
Presumedly if you have mundanes access to unlimited essence youíd redesign a few pieces of ware to become unlimited. Also if you paralleled magic in design youíd have a similar version of metamagic. Bring back redlining but not just for limb replacement. Someone who is pushing the limits gets more tricks out of it. Though at some point a lot of this is theoretical. How much essence would you chew through before you actually ran out of growth.

As for a magic limit of quickenings a 6 magic gets you 5 attributes and initiative boosters. So both your drain stats. Intuition and reaction and body. Thatís already too far imo. But I donít think mages really should be perma buffing themselves. I think focussed concentration should just halve sustaining penalties and quickenings and sustaining focusses should at most be one spell per target. Past that and they are as enhanced as street sams and adepts and that is their gimmick not a mages.(though pure adepts got hit hard this edition it really motivates burn outs which thematically and mechanically Iíd like to penalize as I feel it fits the setting)

And while most of the spell changes imo just makes them worthless as no one will take them or use them the one I wish they would have weakened or just removed is improved initiative and itís just as good as before. In the new system I donít think itís as necessary and allowing adepts/street sams to have that has their niche would be nice. Itís not a big thing but it the books thatís just their gimmick and this is the first edition where mechanically I think you can pull that off in a balanced way.

Overall I think the magic section seems to have been trying to address magic run complaints but saw problems in areas I didnít see and weakened or changed things that didnít need changing and strengthened or kept roughly the same the areas I felt were the unbalanced problem areas, and in areas it seems I and they saw a issue they attacked the symptom and not the root cause.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-10-19/1348:07>
And while most of the spell changes imo just makes them worthless as no one will take them or use them the one I wish they would have weakened or just removed is improved initiative and itís just as good as before.
I'd like to see 6e Increased Reflexes nerfed so it adds +x/+xd6 but doesn't add extra Minor actions. In meatspace, keep the latter for physads/sammies only.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-10-19/1433:18>
The problem with the notion of "Fixing MagicRun" is twofold: What counts as "fixing", and what counts as "MagicRun"?  The latter is a particular rub, as I doubt any two fans will define MagicRun the same way.

When it comes to nerfing mages in general... I think 6we gives more nerfing than boosting.  Not a WHOLE lot more, but some is better than none.

Spirits can use a Magical Nerf Bat beatdown (so that their ItNW doesn't kick in..) but Mages themselves I think are basically fine.

Adepts.. yeah I think they fell victim as collateral damage to the (imo) richly deserved kick in the gonads that MysAds received.  House rules can allow "Pure" Adepts to just benefit from PP gain while in Chargen, and with any luck it can be addressed in the next wave of errata if House Rules don't go far enough for ya.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1456:34>
Well, the thing to keep in mind about "Magicrun" and "broken" mages is that Catarun broke the controls on magicians in a couple crucial ways.

Firstly, at some point, you lost the ability to attack sustained spells from the astral.  That's a big penalty simply gone from the world.  Now, there's no incentive against walking around with 20 spells stacked on you, other than terrifying an astral HTR scout.  Also, when grounding out was removed, it also allows the whole team to waltz around with the same magician with no fears.  These were instrumental controls for the GM to dissuade exactly the abuse people complain about.  Many was the game I would swat a player's spell lock if I could.  Grounding out a fireball into it only happened a couple times, but it was always in my arsenal.

Further, Catarun brought Anchoring in from the Metamagic section and made it a weaker version of sorcery, misnaming it alchemy instead (which was never what this type of item crafting was called).  This means you now have metamagic effects in beginner level games.  Stuff was gated the way it was for a reason, and balance was that reason.   

So "Magicrun" could be defined as the feeling of the game being too skewed to allow magical solutions to problems with no corresponding counter available.  Regardless of which ability you refer to, there is an issue here, and lack of counters is it.  If you have a counter to a problem, then you don't have a problem.  Sustained spells have no meaningful counter in the field.  Sure, a ward, or dispelling, but those are very different from needing to keep one eye in the astral to avoid being popped like a grape if you have a spell lock running.  Given that magic is largely supposed to be illegal, HTR should have spirits floating around and looking for magicians with stacks of spells glowing like a beacon, not unlike Convergence for deckers.  Then you have at least some counter.  If Big Matrix can read the tags on your underwear, then Big Magic surely wants to catch you before you try to fireball the Space Needle.  They can't be everywhere, but imagine a world with spirits manifesting out of nowhere, giving you the spectral eyeball, and then zooming off.  Terrifying, if played right.

Some of the problem of Magicrun is GMs who don't get creative enough stopping runaway casting.  Some of it is the system not providing easy answers for them to grab and run with.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-10-19/1501:28>
Check out 6we's version of dispelling spells.  I don't see a team of shadowrunners walking around like astral christmas trees being a thing when astral security can just pick them off of you at no cost.  Oh, you shift to astral perception to see why your spells are dropping?  Boom, meet the astral mage's 3xMag in Force of Spirits to punish you for looking.

And of course, there's still Astral Barriers too to simply stop people from walking around with spells.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: GuardDuty on <09-10-19/1517:59>
Well, the thing to keep in mind about "Magicrun" and "broken" mages is that Catarun broke the controls on magicians in a couple crucial ways.

Firstly, at some point, you lost the ability to attack sustained spells from the astral.  That's a big penalty simply gone from the world.  Now, there's no incentive against walking around with 20 spells stacked on you, other than terrifying an astral HTR scout.  Also, when grounding out was removed, it also allows the whole team to waltz around with the same magician with no fears.  These were instrumental controls for the GM to dissuade exactly the abuse people complain about.  Many was the game I would swat a player's spell lock if I could.  Grounding out a fireball into it only happened a couple times, but it was always in my arsenal.

I believe that happened way back in 3rd Edition CRB, well before Catalyst had the rights.  Foci were still potential targets, but their wielders and sustained spells themselves were not targetable.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-10-19/1534:50>
And of course, there's still Astral Barriers too to simply stop people from walking around with spells.
Magicians are supposed to be rare, and according to 6e RAW, barriers are hard work to cast. Taken together, those make mana barriers expensive. There's a limit on how far you can scatter mana barriers around the world before you stretch the fluff to breaking point.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Stainless Steel Devil Rat on <09-10-19/1542:29>
And of course, there's still Astral Barriers too to simply stop people from walking around with spells.
Magicians are supposed to be rare, and according to 6e RAW, barriers are hard work to cast. Taken together, those make mana barriers expensive. There's a limit on how far you can scatter mana barriers around the world before you stretch the fluff to breaking point.

Eh, not really.

Sure, magicians are rare.  That means if you ARE a magician, especially one with security expertise/ability to cast wards, you can write your own meal ticket.  It takes a few hours to refresh a ward that's going to last weeks.  One contractor can ward dozens of sites all by himself, and that's before figuring the higher security places that can afford to keep an astral mage on retainer.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: GuardDuty on <09-10-19/1550:01>
And of course, there's still Astral Barriers too to simply stop people from walking around with spells.
Magicians are supposed to be rare, and according to 6e RAW, barriers are hard work to cast. Taken together, those make mana barriers expensive. There's a limit on how far you can scatter mana barriers around the world before you stretch the fluff to breaking point.

Eh, not really.

Sure, magicians are rare.  That means if you ARE a magician, especially one with security expertise/ability to cast wards, you can write your own meal ticket.  It takes a few hours to refresh a ward that's going to last weeks.  One contractor can ward dozens of sites all by himself, and that's before figuring the higher security places that can afford to keep an astral mage on retainer.

There are security measures, like awakened ivy, used to create natural astral barriers, aren't there?  I imagine those kinds of things are easier to come by than back in the late 2050s or whenever it was they were introduced.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-10-19/1610:53>

Sure, magicians are rare.  That means if you ARE a magician, especially one with security expertise/ability to cast wards, you can write your own meal ticket.  It takes a few hours to refresh a ward that's going to last weeks.  One contractor can ward dozens of sites all by himself, and that's before figuring the higher security places that can afford to keep an astral mage on retainer.
It lasts for 1 week per net hit on a Sorcery + Magic test against a threshold of 6. What stats are we assuming for a typical wagemage? 10 dice pool? 12? Threshold 6 is a heck of a lot. It also takes four hours to cast. Assuming each ward lasts two weeks (doubtful, given that threshold), one wagemage would max out at 2x per day (don't forget travel time between sites), or 12x per week (even wagemages get one day off), or two dozen maximum wards.

You can throw more mages at the problem, but that isn't going to make it any cheaper. Speaking of cheaper, you also need reagents for at least the temporary lodge you need at the ward site.

Also, at Magic 6, it only encompasses 300 cubic metres - that's a small three storey house. So if you want anythng larger warded, you need more casters and/or people who are Initiated.

Also also, what's an overworked wagemage going to do when a ward gets torn down? If he's halfway through making the next ward somewhere else -- does he stop and abandon it to raise the alarm with the owners of the warded property? Hell, how confusing is it for a wagemage to receive a "oooh a ward was just taken down" spidey-sense if he has two dozen of them up? How does he know which is which?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1613:40>
Quote
Check out 6we's version of dispelling spells

Oof.  Boosted Defense is definitely in the nerf category.  Perhaps rightly so, but wow.  Ineffective is an understatement.

Dispelling is ... well, it still takes a number of turns to do if someone is running several.  Easier to start throwing grenades.  Since armor is irrelevant, that boost for the mage means next to nothing.  Grenades are a better solution all around.  That's one way to counter them I guess.

Could a mage hold a major action to catch grenades with a levitate spell?

Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-10-19/1619:55>
But I donít think mages really should be perma buffing themselves. I think focussed concentration should just halve sustaining penalties and quickenings and sustaining focusses should at most be one spell per target.

At least in the context of 5e Missions, one thing that Quickening did help with is limiting hits since the campaign rule was they must always be bought. Outside of my core group I did not encounter many people that used Quickening. What I did encounter was a lot of people that would use either pre-edge or reagents to set the limit on Force 4ish defense/initiative spells (mainly armor, combat sense, and increase reflexes), and just do it over and over again until they get 10 or 12 hits, buy the negligible drain, and take a shot of psyche to half the sustain penalty or loop the spell into an equally low force sustaining foci.

Check out 6we's version of dispelling spells.  I don't see a team of shadowrunners walking around like astral christmas trees being a thing when astral security can just pick them off of you at no cost.  Oh, you shift to astral perception to see why your spells are dropping?  Boom, meet the astral mage's 3xMag in Force of Spirits to punish you for looking.

Yeah, the dispelling formula is significantly more friendly towards the dispeller now than it was in 5e.

Oof.  Boosted Defense is definitely in the nerf category.  Perhaps rightly so, but wow.  Ineffective is an understatement.

What do you find to be ineffective about it? I find it to be strictly stronger. Aoe radius, multiple round duration, and attribute + skill + metamagic + foci for the roll for 6e. vs. single spell target, no duration, and skill + metamagic + foci only in 5e.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1633:30>
Quote
What do you find to be ineffective about it?

My memory may be faulty here but back in the day you used to simply be able to allocate bonus dice to defenders equal to your skill.  Everyone in LOS? you are good.  No rolls, no durations, just the equivalent of overwatch.

Now you can only hit 4 targets at best, it lasts for only a few rounds, and provides only a variable number of dice.  Starting characters might get a 12 dice pool, which means average of +4 defense dice, which means maybe 1 extra success.  You then have to continually recast the effect, costing you a major action each time.  Good luck getting a second "huddle up" in combat, if you even got the first one.  Double those dice to 24?  +8 defense dice = an extra +2 hits on average.  Better bet is to 'nade the enemy caster ASAP.  ROI is minimal otherwise.  If it's better than 5E, yikes for 5E...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1637:37>
Just checked 5e.  It works the way I remember, which seems much more effective.  Counterspelling skill of up to 8 dice from chargen?  2 hits before a foci is even involved.  No limits on range or area, just LOS.  Much better.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1638:18>
Man, this joint needs CAPTCHA or something...
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Typhus on <09-10-19/1646:11>
Wwwwaaaait a tic.

You are saying the 6WE applies to every magic attack until it expires?  So not just a one defense per round effect like before?  OK, that makes more sense then.  It changes the game world physics, but I see what you are saying now. 

Still seems like a more complicated way to get to the same result.  Could have just said spell defense applies to all magical attacks while the effect was sustained and dropped the per round exhaustion part.  Less dice rolling and things to track.  Tax the caster a minor to put people under it if they drop out and then need to come back in.  LOS is hard to keep in a combat.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-10-19/1655:39>
Quote
What do you find to be ineffective about it?

My memory may be faulty here but back in the day you used to simply be able to allocate bonus dice to defenders equal to your skill.  Everyone in LOS? you are good.  No rolls, no durations, just the equivalent of overwatch.

Now you can only hit 4 targets at best, it lasts for only a few rounds, and provides only a variable number of dice.  Starting characters might get a 12 dice pool, which means average of +4 defense dice, which means maybe 1 extra success.  You then have to continually recast the effect, costing you a major action each time.  Good luck getting a second "huddle up" in combat, if you even got the first one.  Double those dice to 24?  +8 defense dice = an extra +2 hits on average.  Better bet is to 'nade the enemy caster ASAP.  ROI is minimal otherwise.  If it's better than 5E, yikes for 5E...

Yeah itís pretty bad this edition. They had a bizarre need to shift everything into their 2 meter radius paradigm and the need for a complex action wrecks it. If it was complex to start but a minor to sustain it might be usable. As is, if you option is provide limited defense or kill them you go with kill them. It really only works like during a breach or ambush. You set up the defense then hit go.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-10-19/1658:57>

Sure, magicians are rare.  That means if you ARE a magician, especially one with security expertise/ability to cast wards, you can write your own meal ticket.  It takes a few hours to refresh a ward that's going to last weeks.  One contractor can ward dozens of sites all by himself, and that's before figuring the higher security places that can afford to keep an astral mage on retainer.
It lasts for 1 week per net hit on a Sorcery + Magic test against a threshold of 6. What stats are we assuming for a typical wagemage? 10 dice pool? 12? Threshold 6 is a heck of a lot. It also takes four hours to cast. Assuming each ward lasts two weeks (doubtful, given that threshold), one wagemage would max out at 2x per day (don't forget travel time between sites), or 12x per week (even wagemages get one day off), or two dozen maximum wards.

You can throw more mages at the problem, but that isn't going to make it any cheaper. Speaking of cheaper, you also need reagents for at least the temporary lodge you need at the ward site.

Also, at Magic 6, it only encompasses 300 cubic metres - that's a small three storey house. So if you want anythng larger warded, you need more casters and/or people who are Initiated.

Also also, what's an overworked wagemage going to do when a ward gets torn down? If he's halfway through making the next ward somewhere else -- does he stop and abandon it to raise the alarm with the owners of the warded property? Hell, how confusing is it for a wagemage to receive a "oooh a ward was just taken down" spidey-sense if he has two dozen of them up? How does he know which is which?

And itís force net hits on that test. See my ritual magic thread. Until you get to a team tossing 24 dice using edge itís just a average ward at best. You may be setting off alarms if unwary but wards are more a minor nuisance now if you actually use the math. Now a astral mage casting a man barrier spell in front of a quickened up mage will wreck them. Barrier 10 rolls 20 dice vs those spells.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-10-19/1702:18>
But I donít think mages really should be perma buffing themselves. I think focussed concentration should just halve sustaining penalties and quickenings and sustaining focusses should at most be one spell per target.

At least in the context of 5e Missions, one thing that Quickening did help with is limiting hits since the campaign rule was they must always be bought. Outside of my core group I did not encounter many people that used Quickening. What I did encounter was a lot of people that would use either pre-edge or reagents to set the limit on Force 4ish defense/initiative spells (mainly armor, combat sense, and increase reflexes), and just do it over and over again until they get 10 or 12 hits, buy the negligible drain, and take a shot of psyche to half the sustain penalty or loop the spell into an equally low force sustaining foci.


Eh it helps. But a rando 12 die mage gets 3 hits 4 net on health spells thatís my cap anyways for attribute boosts and itís not like Iím taking improved reflexes past that either since
Iíd of capped out the minor actions. A GM can aggressively go after them but Iím not a fan of adversarial relationships with the players.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-11-19/0722:14>
And itís force net hits on that test. See my ritual magic thread. Until you get to a team tossing 24 dice using edge itís just a average ward at best. You may be setting off alarms if unwary but wards are more a minor nuisance now if you actually use the math. Now a astral mage casting a man barrier spell in front of a quickened up mage will wreck them. Barrier 10 rolls 20 dice vs those spells.
Indeed -- I was ignoring that in my worked example, but those are some weak-assed wards. Plus mages can quite easily sleaze through low-force wards now, right? So they're not even good alarms.

Bottom line is, I think SSDR's way off here; wards can't be reasonably used as a device to hamper mages with Quickened/sustained spells, at least without substantial houserules or outright ignoring RAW for NPC casters.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-11-19/0817:44>
What I did encounter was a lot of people that would use either pre-edge or reagents to set the limit on Force 4ish defense/initiative spells (mainly armor, combat sense, and increase reflexes), and just do it over and over again until they get 10 or 12 hits, buy the negligible drain, and take a shot of psyche to half the sustain penalty or loop the spell into an equally low force sustaining foci.
When you put it that way, it feels quite clear to me that the Force of the spell should interact with the maximum boost in some more direct way than the limit. Particularly as reagents exist. Perhaps a maximum boost of F/2, for example; something like that. What you describe there sounds downright abusive to me.

Also
buy the negligible drain
Did the GM not say "hahha, nope, we're gonna make you roll the drain and see when your luck runs out"? That's what I'd have done, for sure.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Hobbes on <09-11-19/1015:11>

Also
buy the negligible drain

Did the GM not say "hahha, nope, we're gonna make you roll the drain and see when your luck runs out"? That's what I'd have done, for sure.

Eh.  Unless there is a significant time crunch a box or two of stun is litterally nothing.  Three boxes is a short nap.  Buying hits is for when there isn't a significant chance or penalty for failure.  Soaking drain while sitting around a hotel room watching trid with an afternoon to kill would certainly qualify.

It's a GM call, but buying hits moves the dull stuff along. 
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: penllawen on <09-11-19/1044:29>
Eh.  Unless there is a significant time crunch a box or two of stun is litterally nothing.  Three boxes is a short nap.  Buying hits is for when there isn't a significant chance or penalty for failure.  Soaking drain while sitting around a hotel room watching trid with an afternoon to kill would certainly qualify.
Oh, that's a fair point, I was forgetting it's pretty easy to heal. Yeah, OK.

Edit -- you remind me that I've pondered a houserule that you can't heal drain from a spell while you're still sustaining that spell. Potentially annoying bookkeeping though.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Shinobi Killfist on <09-11-19/1129:11>
In 5e It depends on what you allow to be done in downtime. Binding spirits is one where it can break the game. If you make them roll you can kill them from it. In 6e if your morning ritual of summoning is downtime and buy hits you can build a dude to break it.
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-11-19/1131:29>
Eh.  Unless there is a significant time crunch a box or two of stun is litterally nothing.  Three boxes is a short nap.  Buying hits is for when there isn't a significant chance or penalty for failure.  Soaking drain while sitting around a hotel room watching trid with an afternoon to kill would certainly qualify.

It's a GM call, but buying hits moves the dull stuff along.

This is pretty much my view on it. The ability to buy hits is there to speed stuff along, so by all means please do so.

With the low force but high limit casting they were doing (edge/reagents to break limit) it was seriously like 2-3 drain vs. 22+ dice. I would never want to bother rolling that out. The more important factor for me was how much edge or reagents did you spend before you got a result you stuck with?
Title: Re: 6e Play/Stress Test
Post by: Lormyr on <09-12-19/0947:38>
Eh it helps. But a rando 12 die mage gets 3 hits 4 net on health spells thatís my cap anyways for attribute boosts and itís not like Iím taking improved reflexes past that either since
Iíd of capped out the minor actions. A GM can aggressively go after them but Iím not a fan of adversarial relationships with the players.

Either way you look at it, Quickening is in the top tier of augmentations/buffs. In 5e it was grossly overpowered due to the available spells and difficulty of dispelling. In 6e I consider it only slightly stronger than ware, primarily due to being able to augment mental attributes, which is harder for ware. We'll see how that develops as additional spells and ware come out.

Fully agree on adversarial gaming. It's not fun for anyone. As a player, I am always ok with the NPCs zeroing in on my character. I am not ok with the GM zeroing in on me, for whatever reason (don't like me, don't like my playstyle, don't like my character, don't like my optimization, whatever".