Shadowrun

Shadowrun Play => Character creation and critique => Topic started by: Jack_Spade on (08:57:00/05-05-17)

Title: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (08:57:00/05-05-17)
So, lot's of goodies in that book (and lot's of chaff, but that's to be expected)

I'm excited about a few (possibly unbalanced) options that have opened up.

1) The Burminator
You remember that underwhelming Quality "Elemental Focus" from Hard Targets (p.191, +2 dice to cast your chosen element but drain is turned into that element too and you suffer the side effects)?
That drawback turns out to be a feature if you combine it with Elemental Master (p.36 FA).
Not only is all damage from the chosen element halved, but you also are now immune to the side effects. The kicker is that the damage is halved before you soak.
Suddenly a F12 Fireball is now only a mild 6 drain. If you use a fetish and/or the Mentor's Mask it's only 4.

2) Punchomancer
The BAREHANDED ADEPT (p.33) gives adepts Mag/2 touch spells, which can be cast through the Unarmed Combat skill. The force is limited to Mag/3 and Drain is doubled.
You may notice that nowhere I mentioned that these have to be Combat touch spells.
So, just a small list of really useful touch spells that can be cast at low force with reagents for great effect:

- Analyse device: Hello says the impersonator, of course I know how to use a sonic screw driver
- Combat Sense: Self explaining...
- Actually almost all Detection spells are touch range. How fun is that.
- Again, many health spells are touch, most notable: Heal: Yeah, no more stupid emphatic healing, Detox: Ah, Drugs, the cause and solution for all life's problems, Increase Reflexes: Muaharharhar!, Resist Pain: Bring it!
- Physical Mask: It's me...
- Fashion: ...and my perfectly fine tuxedo (that may or may not have been a full body armor only a minute ago)
- Increase Gear Limits: Improvised Throwing Weapons just became a lot deadlier...

3) Illusionist
p.37 That quality is just so good - no more sustain penalties for one Illusion spell per level of the quality. Lot's of area debuffs and stealth spells that would have crippled you to sustain are now perfectly viable: Opium Den or Chaotic World, Invisibility, Swarm just for example

4) Elephant Man
Revenant Adept allows an Adept to gain Regeneration until all injuries are healed. Regeneration does not heal drain damage. The new Flesh Sculpter/Skinwalker quality allows you to increase the shapechance limits up to 6 points more than normally (if you take it three times). Adept Spell exists. An Elephant has a base body of 12.
Combine all that and you have a nearly unstoppable combat form (which you can armor quite cheaply at 50 Nuyen per point of armor), healing 12+ points of damage per round

5) Bioaware
Nothing world shattering, but at Priority D there is now the Aware, gaining Mag 3 and Assensing 4.
You'll notice that you don't actually need Magic to be good at assensing. Which means you are free to invest in 'ware to boost your abilities (preferably bioware so you can keep at least one point of magic).
You are also able to bind and use weapon foci. Also you can gain an Animal Familiar (p.31) if you want to be a beast master.




Title: Re: New options from Forbidden Arcana [FA]
Post by: odd on (09:29:11/05-05-17)
How do familiar work?  Closest I've seen is Ally spirit
Title: Re: New options from Forbidden Arcana [FA]
Post by: Jack_Spade on (10:20:51/05-05-17)
Essentially like a watered down Attune Animal ritual, only without the hassle but you are out of 5 Karma if the animal dies.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: FST_Gemstar on (10:46:28/05-05-17)
I've always been a fan of Magic 1 aspected magicians  because of the benefits you get from going Mundane E to Magic D was so much greater than any other D slot. You get weapon foci, mentor spirits, assensning, some metamagics, etc. The aware subtype makes this even more accessible. (dare I say too accessible?) To a point that there is no reason to be mundane when you can get so many perks of magic so easily at D.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Hobbes on (11:44:24/05-05-17)

2) Punchomancer
The BAREHANDED ADEPT (p.33) gives adepts Mag/2 touch spells, which can be cast through the Unarmed Combat skill. The force is limited to Mag/3 and Drain is doubled.
You may notice that nowhere I mentioned that these have to be Combat touch spells.
So, just a small list of really useful touch spells that can be cast at low force with reagents for great effect:

- Analyse device: Hello says the impersonator, of course I know how to use a sonic screw driver
- Combat Sense: Self explaining...
- Actually almost all Detection spells are touch range. How fun is that.
- Again, many health spells are touch, most notable: Heal: Yeah, no more stupid emphatic healing, Detox: Ah, Drugs, the cause and solution for all life's problems, Increase Reflexes: Muaharharhar!, Resist Pain: Bring it!
- Physical Mask: It's me...
- Fashion: ...and my perfectly fine tuxedo (that may or may not have been a full body armor only a minute ago)
- Increase Gear Limits: Improvised Throwing Weapons just became a lot deadlier...


Detox lord yes.  Sustained buffs are meh unless you're going to Edge or throw Reagents to up the limit, otherwise the sustain penalty kinda makes them a wash.  Physical Mask and anything opposed suffers the same issue, two hits isn't that much to resist.  Heal with two hits, also a bit eh. 

But yeah, combine with a high Edge build on the Sustained buffs, you're golden.  Or Revels in Murder for the Combat touch spells.

Adept Centering and Focused Concentration also become more important for this build, but Background Count makes you very sad as Force 2 doesn't last long.  But Detox lets you run your favorite drug cocktail indefinitely, just that alone would justify the purchase price.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (12:19:39/05-05-17)
Yeah, reagent use is pretty much a must (although going to magic 7 already has a very noticeable effect on your Force level)

But as I mentioned in other threads, there are other ways to increase your limit: A workshop gives +2, leadership/teamwork and of course being a Daredevil and regularly reminding the GM to refill Edge for your stunts.

Low level Sustaining Foci become also quite attractive and of course Focused Concern... and drugs, sweet, sweet drugs.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Hobbes on (16:29:37/05-05-17)
Really depends on the games Background count, and how quickly you can get the Force of the sustains over whatever "normal" Background count your GM throws around.

Detox, Makeover, and Healthy Glow.  No walk of Shame for you.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Tecumseh on (17:14:32/05-05-17)
Barehanded Adept immediately jumped out at me, especially since you're allowed to use Unarmed Combat (which has to be 6 to qualify for the quality) for Spellcasting.

I would be drawn toward the Detection spells. Most of them are going to be cast at F2 (with something to break the Limit), so even doubling the Drain will only put you at 4S or so. Give me the Extended versions of Detect Enemies, Detect Life, and Spatial Sense, all which will be effective out to 120 meters. That's a great way to proactively avoid (or find) trouble.

Right now I'm playing / experimenting with what I'll call a Detection adept (danger sense, combat sense, improved senses for hearing and scent, magic sense, motion sense). He doesn't have the Unarmed skill to qualify for this Quality, but if he did it would really take him to the next level.

Other qualities which jumped out at me were Dedicated Conjurer and Dedicated Spellcaster, which would go a long way toward making Aspected Magicians more viable.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Tarislar on (20:44:29/05-05-17)
Other qualities which jumped out at me were Dedicated Conjurer and Dedicated Spellcaster, which would go a long way toward making Aspected Magicians more viable.

I'm confused by these 2.

Is it saying Dedicated Spellcaster/Conjurer is allowed by Aspected Sorcerer/Conjurer?   
That seems broken as they already can't do the other one.
Or is this something to pump up the new Aspected options like Elementalist or the new version of Shamanic Adept. (I forget what its called)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Tecumseh on (01:25:53/05-06-17)
Yes, not only can the Dedicated ____ qualities be taken by Aspected Sorcerers and Conjurers, they are actually cheaper for them too!

In my opinion it doesn't make a lot of sense for a full magician to take these qualities. Certainly not if they have to pay karma, as the positive effect does not outweigh the negative effect by 10 karma.

To use a sports metaphor, I see these as a "make-up call" for Aspected magicians. 6-7 extra spells for dedicated casters and 3 extra spirit types for dedicated conjurers all go a long way to making these builds much more versatile and far more compelling.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Rooks on (01:53:55/05-06-17)
The aware Burn out way cybernetics using a weapon foci.. with astral bouncer
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Vaylara on (09:29:18/05-06-17)
One question regarding Magic Mastery.

It says Mastery qualities that have a magical tradition listened next to them have all of their skill requirements lowered by 2 for individuals of this tradition.

Does this mean, all traditions can learn this quality and not only the ones in brackets?

2nd question: Elemental Master.

Regarding one of the characters in my group.
She has the quality Elemental Focus (Fire Magic) and therefore gets physical fire damage drain and 2nd effects when casting Fire Spells.

If she now takes Elemental Master, is the damage she would get from drain also reduced by 50% for Fire Spells? Or does it only apply for fire damage she gets from other sources?



Overall, some really nice stuff in this, I like the Magic Mastery, alternate Aspected rules and the new and reworked traditions. Hope they will rework the other traditions as well in the future. :)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (09:44:30/05-06-17)
Yes, everyone with magic can learn these qualities if they fullfill the prerequisites

Yes, the text explicitly says all kinds of damage, that includes drain.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: ZeldaBravo on (13:32:27/05-07-17)

Yes, the text explicitly says all kinds of damage, that includes drain.

Is that really so? The wording is that the quality "reduces all incoming damage from their chosen element by half". I doubt that Fireball drain does fire damage...
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (13:55:07/05-07-17)
Read the text of "ELEMENTAL FOCUS"

"Choose an elemental type when taking this quality. When casting spells of that type, you get a +2 dice pool modifier. Drain you may take from casting spells of that type is of the same type"
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Mulcarn on (14:05:57/05-07-17)
New things i'm excited about in no particular order.

1) Structured Spellcasting
Give up the ability to set your spellcasting limit with Edge and Reagents, and you can't use reckless spellcasting anymore.  In turn you get -1 Drain on all spellcasting tests.  Combine that with Mentor's Mask and a fetish for some serious Drain reduction.  Hello Force 9+ indirect combat spells.  :D

2) Paradigm Shift
I've always wanted a mechanical way to change traditions.  Now I got one!  This also opens up Insect and Toxic traditions for all kinds of fun and joy...

3) Spirit Expansion: Shedim
Ever wanted to play a necromancer?  Now you can.  All you need to do is to negotiate with a Master Shedim to learn how.  Easy, right?

4) Mentor's Mask
Hate Drain?  Me too.  Here's an option for less drain at the cost of more easily noticeable magic.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: ZeldaBravo on (14:26:18/05-07-17)
Sweet!
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Novocrane on (21:38:59/05-07-17)
3) Spirit Expansion: Shedim
Ever wanted to play a necromancer?  Now you can.  All you need to do is to negotiate with a Master Shedim to learn how.  Easy, right?
From what I've gathered, it seems that's not how you become a necromancer, but how you get fooled into thinking you're a necromancer.
Quote
Most magicians who have seen it call it “necromancy,” conflating it with previously discovered necromantic traditions, an error that the shedim have seen no reason to correct.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: fseperent on (00:33:46/05-08-17)
I am a little surprised Archivist has not been mentioned yet.
Yes, it does little for most chargen methods.
Life Modules, however, have a LOT of Academic: Any options that could easily stack for a +2 or higher bonus.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Mulcarn on (00:57:06/05-08-17)
Well, from a mechanical point of view there isn't much difference between the two.  Both shedim summoners and necromancer are conjuring forth spirits of death and decay to possess corpses and wreak terror.  With shedim summoning it's not only easier but better because the shedim doesn't lower your Magic rating and you can bind them for a zombie stockpile.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Novocrane on (04:00:47/05-08-17)
Well, from a mechanical point of view there isn't much difference between the two.
Sure there is. Shedim are mostly better than corpse spirits.

Quote
Both shedim summoners and necromancer are conjuring forth spirits of death and decay to possess corpses and wreak terror.
That's debatable.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (05:16:05/05-08-17)
@Structured Spellcasting

That one is a trap in most cases, unless you have a really high magic rating. The drain decrease is usually not relevant if you aren't overcasting or oversummoning.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Mulcarn on (05:41:29/05-08-17)
It opens up the ability to frequently overcast high force combat spells or regular force buffs/debuffs with a high base Drain.  (Increase Reflexes, Combat Sense, Mob Mind, Mob Control, etc)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (06:10:02/05-08-17)
Reading the text again, and you are right, it's reckless spellcasting that's no longer possible not overcasting (The limit enforcement threw me off)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Pinicles on (10:56:33/05-08-17)
My two cents
-Elf  hedge widzard (manipulation)
-Dedicate Spellslinger
-Puppet Master
-Charlatan
-fetish


 Reckless spellscating, undetctect 6E influence.
 Reckless spellscating, undetctect 6E control thoughts, then Alter memory .
 
 Puppet party. Why fight? If you can reduce the guard, muzzle and tie. Or if they are a group keep them doing nothing, finish the job and then make them forget everything.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Rooks on (01:48:38/05-09-17)
Other than weapon Foci is there anything else the Aware can use?
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (05:12:35/05-09-17)
All the qualities that don't have a specific prerequisite.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Hobbes on (12:15:10/05-09-17)
My two cents
-Elf  hedge widzard (manipulation)
-Dedicate Spellslinger
-Puppet Master
-Charlatan
-fetish


 Reckless spellscating, undetctect 6E influence.
 Reckless spellscating, undetctect 6E control thoughts, then Alter memory .
 
 Puppet party. Why fight? If you can reduce the guard, muzzle and tie. Or if they are a group keep them doing nothing, finish the job and then make them forget everything.

Charlatan for a typical Elf Face Mage really is all you need.  Being able to toss around undetected force 6 Spells is very silly. 

FYI, you want to start with the Incubus Spell from Cutting Aces using the Illusionist PQ to sustain.

Spellcasting 6, Performance 4ish, Incubus sustained with no penalty.  14 or 16 dice on your favorite Mental manipulation (I like Suggestion, YMMV) then follow up with Re-wind or Alter Memory as you leave.  I've got this character already sitting there and was planning on simply raising Spellcasting instead of initiating just so I could do this on a regular basis.  Couple new PQs and some minor tweaks and I'm doing out of Chargen.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: deathwishjoe on (18:22:46/05-09-17)
So worship leader seems like it could get pretty crazy.  Could agents running on a computer count as a mundane ritual participant?  Ritual spell casting takes time which may make this a not very useful ability for a player character.  Ill have to look into this.  I'm imagining a runner who stays at home using astral projection and watcher spirits to target for the spells he wants to use. 
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: EiraHaexa on (19:10:22/05-09-17)
My reaction to the new Death mentor spirit
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXpnI52cLEc&list=PLC2O8tKD1_aT5AEk_44ZWD377bO8erI25&index=19 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXpnI52cLEc&list=PLC2O8tKD1_aT5AEk_44ZWD377bO8erI25&index=19)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Mulcarn on (19:30:49/05-09-17)
I'm not sure why Death and Tohu Wa-Bohu exist when we already Doom.  Or why Dove and War exist when Peacekeeper and Berserker do/are the same thing.

Dark King got the Adversary treatment and became worse in this edition.  Spider getting an Alt. version where he offers bonuses to Stealth and Illusion spells instead of being a computer nerd mentor is a nice change.  I'll be waiting for the Adversary to get a similar treatment.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Novocrane on (22:04:38/05-09-17)
Same reason 'augmentation bundles' and 'cyber suites' exist at the same time, with the former using the latter's 4th edition rules, presumably. Effective communication.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (19:35:41/05-15-17)
Probably an errata to be, but dedicated conjurer lets you pick any three spirits, while the initiation is only among the normal list of, guardian, task, etc.  This means you could pick up random ones like succubus or the like.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: JmOz01 on (20:20:29/05-17-17)
Something I noticed

17 spells at character creation-10 karma points

10 spells at Priority +7 for dedicated spellslinger (assuming a spec on spellcasting)

Could also pick up 3 w/Karma and start with ARCANE IMPROVISER

Magic A
Characteristics B
Skills C (19 skill points and 2 skill groups after buying required)
Metatype: D (human)
Resources: E

Karma---15 for spells, 10 for dedicated, 5 for Arcane Improviser-20 remaining for other improvements

Skills and characteristics can be swapped, or with sum 10 could be Magic A, Resources E, everything else C
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: ZeldaBravo on (00:35:15/05-18-17)
You can only have Magic x2 spells known.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: JmOz01 on (06:52:32/05-18-17)
I knew I was overlooking SOMETHING...to bad :)  still...20 Karma is not that long of a wait (4-5 runs)...pick up the +10 etc,,,,
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (07:08:38/05-18-17)
You can only have Magic x2 spells known.

Are you sure that's a current rule?
p.299 core talks about learning spell but doesn't mention a limit on how many spells you can learn.

Or are you talking about spells at character creation?
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (08:02:49/05-18-17)
1) The Burminator
You remember that underwhelming Quality "Elemental Focus" from Hard Targets (p.191, +2 dice to cast your chosen element but drain is turned into that element too and you suffer the side effects)?
That drawback turns out to be a feature if you combine it with Elemental Master (p.36 FA).
Not only is all damage from the chosen element halved, but you also are now immune to the side effects. The kicker is that the damage is halved before you soak.
Suddenly a F12 Fireball is now only a mild 6 drain. If you use a fetish and/or the Mentor's Mask it's only 4.
Well, I can see how it's written in a way that could be interpreted that way, but given there's qualities that grant damage resistance dice that don't affect drain to my knowledge, one could argue that drain isn't really "incoming" damage and wouldn't be affected. Though more likely is that the author of that one simply didn't know that "Elemental Focus" exists. I can see it eliminating the side effects, but I wouldn't build a char around the reduced value lest potential errata wreck the concept before it really gets off the ground.
Independent of it's validity, I believe if you used a fetish it would reduce the drain from 12 to 10, which is then halved, coming out at 5. After all, the Fetish reduces the drain by 2, not grants two automatic hits on the drain resistance test.
You can only have Magic x2 spells known.
At character creation, anyways. And Mastery qualities don't get more expensive afterwards, so you just need to wait a run or two, at worst, before you get all those juicy bonus spells. ^^
The limit might be there mostly to reduce the amount of spells the magician doesn't need to buy formulas for.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (09:10:56/05-18-17)
It may get errata but until then it is definitely all incoming damage. All other instances where you get dice to reduce damage or half or auto successes explicitly make exceptions to drain damage. By omission this means drain is included in this quality.

Also:
Fireball has F-1 Drain = 11 -> Damage halved before soak 6
w/Fetish F-3 Drain = 9 -> Damage halved before soak 5
w/Mentor Mask F-4=8 -> Damaged halved before soak 4
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: ZeldaBravo on (10:43:21/05-18-17)
Or are you talking about spells at character creation?

This.

Also:
Damage halved before soak.

You generally take damage AFTER you soak...
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (11:03:04/05-18-17)
"A character with this quality reduces all incoming damage from their chosen element by half, and they are immune to any secondary effects it might normally cause (see Elemental Damage, p.170, SR5). Because incoming damage is halved before rolling for damage resistance, this quality protects both the character and their worn equipment from elemental damage."
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (12:17:26/05-18-17)
So, I can see fire being used as the element for elemental master. But the others?
What is Air, anyways? Sound? Lightning? Air isn't really a damage  element, or is it?
Earth is also just physical, and few attacks have "earth" as their elemental keyword.
Actually I think fire may be the only good choice, it's pretty clear cut what it is and what it does.

Edit:
Also a great concept is the Pacifist Adept quality.
Take one of our perpetually overpowered MyAds, cover yourself in smoke and darkness, and watch quietly as everyone shoots themselves in the foot.
I wonder if you lose karma if someone dies by hitting themselves?
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: ZeldaBravo on (22:47:11/05-18-17)
"A character with this quality reduces all incoming damage from their chosen element by half, and they are immune to any secondary effects it might normally cause (see Elemental Damage, p.170, SR5). Because incoming damage is halved before rolling for damage resistance, this quality protects both the character and their worn equipment from elemental damage."
What? But why?  ??? I don't really care if it's strong or not, but this option feels sort of counter-intuitive, or inconsistent, or out of place.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: gradivus on (17:07:45/05-19-17)
I guess I'll just have to make an Apprentice Elementalist with the Thunderbird as a mentor...
just because I want to name him Electro
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (17:45:48/05-19-17)
It may get errata but until then it is definitely all incoming damage. All other instances where you get dice to reduce damage or half or auto successes explicitly make exceptions to drain damage. By omission this means drain is included in this quality.

Also:
Fireball has F-1 Drain = 11 -> Damage halved before soak 6
w/Fetish F-3 Drain = 9 -> Damage halved before soak 5
w/Mentor Mask F-4=8 -> Damaged halved before soak 4

Some pretty strong arguments could be made that Drain doesn't count as "incoming damage" since Drain doesn't originate outside of the character. It isn't incoming, because it isn't arriving from somewhere else. Now, the immunity to the secondary effects would still apply, so it is still a good combo. It just isn't quite as game-breaking as you show in your example.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (18:10:07/05-19-17)
Drain is described as
"The manipulation of mana, whether forming of a spell, brewing a potion, or bringing forth a being from another plane, can exhaust or injure you. Mana is a form of energy, and channeling greater quantities of that energy can strain the body and mind. This effect is referred to as Drain. [...]
Drain generally is inflicted on you as Stun damage, though there are situations in which it can be Physical damage."

I'd say that is a pretty strong argument that Drain is in fact incoming damage.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (18:24:04/05-19-17)
If we want to be pedantic about it, you could potentially argue that all damage is "incoming." I'm making the argument that it is referring to damage coming from an outside source, e.g. that Flamethrower coming at you. Since drain is internalized (it doesn't come in from somewhere else), it is never incoming.

Also:
incoming: to arrive, to come in.
inflicted: to cause to suffer.

They aren't synonymous.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (18:31:41/05-19-17)
Your argument is that the damage doesn't come from outside, but the text says it stems from the magic energy that is channeled through you. That is definitively damage from outside that is inflicted on you not that is caused by you on you.

Incoming damage is in my opinion a differentiation to damage that you already have recorded on your health bar. It merely clarifies that this quality doesn't heal/reduce damage you already have suffered.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (19:56:12/05-19-17)
Your argument is that the damage doesn't come from outside, but the text says it stems from the magic energy that is channeled through you. That is definitively damage from outside that is inflicted on you not that is caused by you on you.

Yes, inflicted, but never incoming (arriving from outside). It is damage that is being caused by you through the channeling of the magic. There is no way for Drain to be directed outside. Not to mention that we could argue that when the drain is "incoming" it isn't elemental, the Elemental Focus quality changes it to that element. It's a simple matter to make these two qualities stack in a way that is unbalancing.

Incoming damage is in my opinion a differentiation to damage that you already have recorded on your health bar. It merely clarifies that this quality doesn't heal/reduce damage you already have suffered.

How could a quality ever be used to heal damage that you've already taken? Are you suggesting that a character spontaneously gain this quality and have it heal old damage? The phrase "[reduce] damage from their chosen element by half" coupled with the clarification "damage is halved before rolling for damage resistance" already does all of that.

All I'm suggesting is that GMs who feel that the combination of these two qualities is unbalancing has room to rule that drain taken through the Elemental Focus quality is not subject to the halving of the Elemental Master quality. You very clearly would still be immune to the secondary effects of that element, even from your drain.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (11:00:10/05-20-17)
The mana certainly doesn't come from inside the mage, but the manasphere  ::)

There are a few qualities and powers that remove damage that isn't incoming but has already been sustained - most notably the one that gives regeneration or the one that let's you transfer damage.
And no, I'm not suggesting that the Elemental Master is healing previously sustained damage. Quite the reverse. Whatever gave you that idea?

The GM is always free to ban anything he doesn't want in his game. That's rule 0. I am talking about what is RAW (and therefore not necessarily about what is RAI or - for that matter - sane).
If a GM doesn't want that combo because it's too powerful for his table - fine.
If he bans it because he really believes that "incoming damage" excludes drain damage, I'd certainly argue that this is bullshit. 

Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (18:08:53/05-20-17)
RAW in Shadowrun has never been a simple matter, and quite frankly a lot of things even Rules as Written has a lot of room for interpretation and sometimes entire rules areas where things just aren't defined.

So yes, there is a difference between some (rare) qualities or items that remove or heal damage, and qualities or items that reduce damage taken. The verbage that they use for those two different operations are already quite different. Your comment that the use of "incoming" was a clarification on that difference is what I was trying to refute.

The SR rules are filled with terminology usage that is never clearly defined. In fact, there is exactly 1 instance of the core rulebook referring to damage as "incoming damage" which is on page 397 in the Example for Hardened Armor. It is referring to the damage when it is being compared against the Armor Value. The only other time they even use the term "incoming" is in reference to attacks coming at a target. All of these uses are outside attacks that are inbound toward the target.

I've always viewed Drain as the Magician's ability to channel the energy that they are shaping into the spells they are creating. As they channel more magic, the strain becomes greater, resulting in a higher amount of Drain to resist. This is supported by the Sensitive System negative quality which outright states that because of your more sensitive system you sometimes take more damage as the energy being channeled hits your body harder. So I relate this to essentially Magical Fatigue Tests. I wouldn't count Fatigue as "incoming" damage either, it is damage caused by overexertion (like Running) or lack of something your body otherwise needs (Hunger, Thirst, Sleep, etc).

And yes, the mana is certainly coming from inside the mage or at least channeling through them. The manasphere isn't "taking a spell order" dishing out the effects of the spell to the target and then giving the mage back their change in the form of Drain. There isn't some outside source sending the Drain at them independent of the Magician.

With the Elemental Focus quality, the Magician has essentially tapped into a way to increase their control over their chosen element (dice pool bonus), but at the cost of channeling part of that damaging effect through themselves. Essentially changing the Drain Value to result in the effects of Elemental Damage. The Elemental Mastery quality protects you (and your gear) against incoming threats of that Element, but (to use a Fire reference), it doesn't help you when you're burning yourself from the inside out. You handle the elemental effects better (being immune to the secondary effects), I just don't think it reduces the actual Drain Value. Oh, plus the fact that Elemental Focus states that the drain is "taken" as that Element, which would be after it is "incoming." Just noticed that part...
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (18:36:56/05-20-17)
Actually, that last sentence might just be the most relevant.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (03:47:26/05-21-17)
I hope you have noticed that consistent terminology isn't exactly a strength of CGL's Shadowrun.

But the fact that you use the word "channeling" already shows that there is an outside force (mana) that is routed through the magician into the mundane world. That is fact inside and outside the game world. It's the reason you can't cast in space and why mana voids are bad for you.

Leaving ingame fluff explanations aside: Drain is not fatigue damage. Drain is damage you receive for performing magic.. To borrow a D&D term (The game has its own problems, but at least they use keywords and consistent terminology): Drain is usually untyped damage. Elemental focus changes the damage type. Elemental master makes you resistant to that damage type (I'm pretty sure whoever came up with the quality was at least subconsciously influenced by the D&D 5 concept). 
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (03:21:09/05-22-17)
Probably the easiest one, but overlooked:

Archivist + Any logic (or int) tradition + College Education + C+ resources

Augment:  Daredrenaline (.1), (optional Cereb boost x2 (.4), narco (.2)), pain editor (.3 after gen) = 1 essence, or 5 magic.

5 logic/5 int base = 20 skills * 2 college = 40 'academic magic ranks' / 4 = 10 qualifying / 2 archivist = +5 for drain code until physical is taken.  AKA Force 10.

+2 daredrenaline/pain editor for willpower, use a dwarf or gnome, for 9 willpower (optional)

Can skip cereb booster, and narco for foci but this comes out a little stronger at gen since karma is needed so much for binding.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (03:36:17/05-22-17)
That's quite a large investment for something you can do with reagents (set the limit to your Mag rating so spells don't get physical drain)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (05:44:34/05-22-17)
But the fact that you use the word "channeling" already shows that there is an outside force (mana) that is routed through the magician into the mundane world. That is fact inside and outside the game world. It's the reason you can't cast in space and why mana voids are bad for you.
That's kind of my point, the energy is taken in, then (potentially) damages you on the way back out. Drain is a result of outgoing energy, otherwise you would take drain before the effects of the magic took place. This is the primary reason I wouldn't consider Drain to be "incoming" damage.

Leaving ingame fluff explanations aside: Drain is not fatigue damage. Drain is damage you receive for performing magic.. To borrow a D&D term (The game has its own problems, but at least they use keywords and consistent terminology): Drain is usually untyped damage. Elemental focus changes the damage type. Elemental master makes you resistant to that damage type (I'm pretty sure whoever came up with the quality was at least subconsciously influenced by the D&D 5 concept).

While I agree with your assessment of the D&D influences, my point about comparing Drain and Fatigue was to draw the parallels between them. Yes, I know that Drain isn't Fatigue or a type of Fatigue, but in a lot of ways I think it has more in common with Fatigue than it does with other types of damage. Drain is a direct result of the strain that you put yourself through when you perform magic. It isn't the spell shooting out and part of it arcing back and hitting you, it isn't the manasphere sending retribution for your intrusion on its domain. It isa direct result of attempting to use that magic. Just calling it "damage you receive for performing magic" makes it sound like some entity is out there doling out damage when people trying to perform feats of magic.


That's quite a large investment for something you can do with reagents (set the limit to your Mag rating so spells don't get physical drain)

The results of Archivist is not quite the same as using Reagents. Using reagents to set your Limit means that you are capped on the number of hits you can use. Myriad's suggestion allows you to use up to 10 hits without your Drain being switched over to Physical Damage. This means that the Force 10 Fireball with 10 hits (which would be a whopping 17 damage at AP -10, in a 10 meter radius blast) would only deal 9S in Drain damage (by default).
Yeah, it's a lot of resources spent on a very niche thing, and debatable whether or not it is truly useful, but it would essentially guarantee that you never take Physical Damage from Drain. On that note, however, I have been in situations before where taking Physical Drain was actually preferable because the Magician didn't want to fall unconscious from Stun damage, however, that's what the Pain Editor is for. It's definitely an odd combination, being a super-book-smart educated magician that pushes the limits of drain so hard that you've been modded to not feel pain and push yourself to the brink by overcasting and not caring because all the drain is Stun damage.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (07:32:55/05-22-17)
Not everything that's possible in the rules makes sense in character development.
At that point, you might as well utilize fetish casting and subject yourself to a mentors mask.
Well, and of course if you're willing to specialize you can pick a hedge wizard and initiate into Structured Spellcasting, and that Fireball will suddenly only deal 3 Drain.
Many options, though most have drawbacks.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (08:13:33/05-22-17)
@Kiirnodel

I think we'll have to agree to disagree - we certainly won't convince each other.

@Archivist Quality

The opportunity cost for this method is quite high: Investing all your starting Knowledge into (probably redundant) magical knowledge skills to gain an advantage that only changes the type of damage you get instead on focusing to reduce drain is sub optimal. Especially if the reagents trick allows you a flexible approach with much lower cost (1 Karma is worth about 100 reagents - you need to cast quite a lot of high force spells before you can even begin to break even)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: gradivus on (01:03:33/06-11-17)
I wouldn't go out of my way to maximize magic knowledge skills as Myriad suggested.

However, if you use life modules you usually end up with multiple magic knowledge skills as an awakened, so throwing archivist to capitalize on that I'd do.

Did anyone mention Dedicated Conjurer Chain Breaking Shaman Aspected Mage:
At MR6 that's 10 spirit types to summon
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Marcus on (02:29:36/06-11-17)
FA really did open up a pile of doors, the one that does interest me the most is priority seeing aspect. Yeah sure seeing Astral is cute, and all but it does something else that worth considering.
You can bond weapon Foci, and while you won't get any magic powers from it you could also have a mentor spirits, lets keep in mind Shark and Stag are both combat dice adders and plenty more are social dice adders. Sure Magic 4 and access to no powers there are some very real limits on what you can get done, but it's an interesting new option to consider.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (04:26:00/06-11-17)
@gravidus

That's actually a really good idea.

And yeah, Chain Breaker is a huge boon for everyone who isn't interested in binding anyway. Getting both qualities might be a bit overkill - especially since you can initiate to get other spirit types too.
But getting reliable access to Task/Guardian/Man/Beast and Water is huge.

Also of note an absolutely broken option:

Alchemical Bomb Maker
This new option neglected to note that 1) only combat spells and 2) only indirect combat spells can be damage increased.

Now you can for 1 drain add 2 DV to a power ball. That turns this into an absolute killer: +7 Drain =+14 DV ignores armor and pretty much kills everything even with just a F1 or 2 preparation - add a few points of radius increase and you can create weapons of mass destruction, pulverizing even hardened structures and whatever else is in its way...
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kiirnodel on (15:35:10/06-11-17)
@gravidus

That's actually a really good idea.

And yeah, Chain Breaker is a huge boon for everyone who isn't interested in binding anyway. Getting both qualities might be a bit overkill - especially since you can initiate to get other spirit types too.
But getting reliable access to Task/Guardian/Man/Beast and Water is huge.

Also of note an absolutely broken option:

Alchemical Bomb Maker
This new option neglected to note that 1) only combat spells and 2) only indirect combat spells can be damage increased.

Now you can for 1 drain add 2 DV to a power ball. That turns this into an absolute killer: +7 Drain =+14 DV ignores armor and pretty much kills everything even with just a F1 or 2 preparation - add a few points of radius increase and you can create weapons of mass destruction, pulverizing even hardened structures and whatever else is in its way...

Unless, you know, that Force 1 preparation simply gets resisted because it has a low dice-pool. If the target gets more hits on its resistance than the spellcasting, it deals no damage, the spell is fully resisted.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (16:40:57/06-11-17)
Ah right, I forgot that preparations only use reagents to set the limit in the initial creation, not the actual casting. That lessens the problem a bit although a high force preparation still could do a ridiculous amount of damage:
Assuming the alchemist has 11 points on his stun track, so can take 10 points of drain without going unconscious and casts at Force=Magic=6, adding another 8 points of drain for +12 Damage and +20m radius. They just need to resist 4 drain (Contact triggers are now at 0 drain), put the preparation in their vault of ages and sleep it off.

Also, this leaves environmental area effect spells for potential havoc like Poltergeist (use a pack of razor blades as the lynchpin)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (18:49:44/06-11-17)
Well, there are non-combat spells that deal damage.
Maybe the effect should have a limit or something, but I'm not quite sure the Directs are more positively affected by this than indirect spells, besides their inherently lower drain. Dealing just, say, 6 more damage with a Slash spell would most certainly have a profound effect, as well.
I certainly think the atomizer and Vault have a bigger effect on the respected, but so far definitely not valued profession of alchemist.
Being able to just spray an opposing sam with a high level turn to goo and stealing all his implants just puts a devious smile on my face. Don't look. It might be contagious.

I wonder if we're able to reduce spirit reputation if we're playing a binding-only elementalist.
The Astral Perception option is neat, however, it is sadly only for Sum2Ten as there's no discount on raising magic. Wakshaani apparently never played with the other generation options.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (02:50:07/06-12-17)
Directs are usually only net hits in damage so it is not that big a deal that they can't be resisted with more than Will or Body. Add extra damage to that like "Witness my Hate" and you are looking at unresistable damage. Also adding 2DV/1drain is 100% more effective than scaling force on an indirect combat spell.

Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: gilga on (04:16:45/06-12-17)
I like the bombmaker option and I am toying with exploiting the priority C option for the alchemist.

I do not know if it was mentioned but mundanes can now perceive the astral with crystal eyes.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (14:41:08/06-12-17)
Huh?  ???
Where's that?
The only thing like that I remember was the Blood Crystals, and they literally eat mundane people alive if implanted.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (23:37:07/06-18-17)
I recently like the idea of Apprentice with Dedicated Conjurer, specifically, gaining a spirit of Man to cast the spells your "know".  This let's you put a really low emphasis on Magic, which means you can do a secondary or primary role quite nicely I noticed.  Slap on spirit whisperer quality, for even higher force, for things like analyze device on a 'deck'.

Not that its more 'powerful' but Buddhist (alt) gives you barehanded adept for free along with spirit pilgrim/lodge.  Depending on the rules, you can actually get a tradition as an adept, so its nice free qualities for one. OR you can use on the apprentice or aspected conjurer version above to gain a few more touch spells, but it does become costly due to the loss of reagents and thus binding.  Can still pick up chain breaker tho on top of this for +5 total spirits.  Also recommended for synergy is traveler lifestyle + Bat mentor because unlike other mages, you aren't setting up lodges.

Dedicated Conjurer/Chain Breaker both don't list spirit types unlike the UMT initiation later... This could mean you can gain "any spirit" aka "shadow, etc."  Personally love the idea you could have a succubus at chargen then that could work as distraction, your face, etc, but most GMs would probably frown on this.

Possession mages with vehicles become a bit more viable after Dedicated conjurer, Archivist, Chain breaker, Spirit Whisperer, etc all come into the mix.  Assuming you GM is (in)sane, and the objects get 15 dice to resist or less, then having a Force 8+ can easily be done with stun drain only, and then be inside the vehicle/drone for that real magic + tech merging.

Adepts with barehanded adept (possibly from Buddhist Tradition alt following above) and adept spell (shapechange) can easily start with 3 body, flesh sculptor, and one of their touch spells as increase body.  This let's them have the whole of the animal kingdom eventually, along with Athlete's Way for Supernatural Prowess.  Plus many of the adept powers like Kiai can be a "bark/howl", voice control allows 'speech', nimble fingers despite a sanity check against it, allows for free action readying/grabbing of items.  YMMV, but its not more 'powerful' but a way to get shapechange viable on an adept. 

Skills A characters with Spider (Alt) mentor can get 6 group in stealth, and 6 group in something else.  Oddly enough, this can be combined with the above, to gain a very wide character at chargen that has a 'combat/infiltration' option of shapechange.

Anyway, that's all I got, hope that helps!
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Marcus on (00:01:42/06-19-17)
Was there an update to ways that I missed? I was under the impression that supernatural prowess was an Athelet's way meta magic.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (01:40:19/06-19-17)
Nope, that was just me doing it from memory and getting old.  Corrected in the post tho, thanks.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Marcus on (13:24:47/06-19-17)
Nutz after reading the NPC in The Book of the Lost, i was hoping there had been update the ways. The could certainly use it.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (15:10:51/06-19-17)
Adepts with barehanded adept (possibly from Buddhist Tradition alt following above) and adept spell (shapechange) can easily start with 3 body, flesh sculptor, and one of their touch spells as increase body.  This let's them have the whole of the animal kingdom eventually, along with Athlete's Way for Supernatural Prowess.  Plus many of the adept powers like Kiai can be a "bark/howl", voice control allows 'speech', nimble fingers despite a sanity check against it, allows for free action readying/grabbing of items.  YMMV, but its not more 'powerful' but a way to get shapechange viable on an adept. 

Increase Body won't help you. Shapechange keys of your natural body stat (and the Flesh Sculptor quality). For that matter even a killer whale doesn't go beyond 12 body.
You naturally can take it's form with Body 10, 6 with two instances of FS - which is also enough to take the form of a theoretical Body 0 insect. So for the widest range of possible forms having Body 6 is the most optimal.

Also, a Kiai shout made by an elephant would probably be a great way to empty just about any local area (and the high body is an excellent way to resist drain as an adept)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (01:30:27/06-26-17)
Ah, that makes sense.

Another combo:  Dedicated Conjurer + Practiced Alchemist + Vault of Ages

Nothing too fancy, you can easily get some of the best spirits, and alchemy for relatively cheap karma.  Won't even miss 'spellcasting' that much with this build as alchemy substitutes in.  The super potency you gain via Practiced Alchemy is also nice.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (02:55:07/06-26-17)
True and since you still can learn spells, you even can have spirits of man cast for you (with over summoning the spirit might be actually better at casting than you)
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: gradivus on (07:18:15/06-26-17)
Voodoo Apprentice- Health Magic
1 point in Spellcasting, 6 points is Summoning
Learn Imp Reflexes, Healing and whatever other health spells you want at 5karma each.
Dedicated Conjurer for 5 karma.
You now can't cast spells but can summon 4 types of spirits.
The Health Spirit is Man for Voodoo so it can cast the spells you know but can no longer cast.
At force 6 while it possesses you it probably gives a +3 to all your physical stats.

Should pick up the Task Spirit as one of the 3 because it's like skill wires for technical/physical skills but magical.
Should pick up Guardian Spirit for the same reason but it's combat skills.
The third spirit to pick up, I'm not sure about.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Jack_Spade on (08:05:43/06-26-17)
Water - Weather Control is extremely powerful if you want to prepare a run where you don't want any flying drones or helis on your tail.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Myriad on (20:38:16/06-26-17)
Voodoo Apprentice- Health Magic
1 point in Spellcasting, 6 points is Summoning
Learn Imp Reflexes, Healing and whatever other health spells you want at 5karma each.
Dedicated Conjurer for 5 karma.
You now can't cast spells but can summon 4 types of spirits.
The Health Spirit is Man for Voodoo so it can cast the spells you know but can no longer cast.
At force 6 while it possesses you it probably gives a +3 to all your physical stats.

Should pick up the Task Spirit as one of the 3 because it's like skill wires for technical/physical skills but magical.
Should pick up Guardian Spirit for the same reason but it's combat skills.
The third spirit to pick up, I'm not sure about.

Yeah, didn't expand too much on my post about this, but apprentice, or any caster, losing 'casting' and using a 'man spirit' for it is quite nice.

Personally I like going for materialization spirits recently for the action economy.

Spells are a bit prohibitive due to apprentice technically not gaining any, and spending 5 karma a pop.  The "effectiveness" is you can place Magic at D priority, and still have access to skills like "counterspell" vs an aspected conjurer.  Otherwise, once you start doing too many spells, it becomes better once again to become a full mage, least IMO.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Kuirem on (05:48:00/07-13-17)
I don't think someone mentioned it yet though it might be an obvious trick but since Mastery Qualities karma cost does not increase you can just keep 5 karma at the end of chargen to learn the cheapest ones. The main benefit of doing so is to bypass the 25 karma limit of positive qualites (for instance build a Aspected Spellcaster with Mentor Spirit and Focused Concentration 5 and buy Dedicated Spellslinger after chargen).

By the way I feel like Dedicated Spellslinger should give a little something more than extra spells. For a full Magician you have to completely give up Conjuring just for some spells? In comparison Dedicated Conjurer also give access to new spirits (which are harder to acquire than spells) and it gives a small bonus on drain.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: Marcus on (19:44:48/07-13-17)
to be fair it's a lot of spells.
7 for most characters.  8 if you took aptitude
So you could start with as many as 18 spells.
That reasonably serious business.
Title: Re: [FA] New options from Forbidden Arcana
Post by: UnLimiTeD on (04:36:12/07-18-17)
And makes future ones cheaper. If you want to be a utility mage, I could see that making a tremendous difference. Though it is obviously built for Aspected casters, a full mage just doesn't benefit as much.
Starting with potentially that many spells (up to 17 being reasonable) can allow you to have something for every situation that isn't necessarily "put pointy end towards obnoxious element and apply repeatedly".