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

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ShadowMaster

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« Reply #15 on: (22:21:59/05-02-18) »
Page 125 of Run & Gun, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE/DIVE ON THE GRENADE
It's an interrupt action that allows you to avoid AoE attacks. I have used the Dive on the grenade to jump on a Fireball spell.
You are limiting them to 5d6 on initiative? An average roll is 17.5 on 5 dice, so getting a 40 is not easy.

Marcus

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« Reply #16 on: (22:37:28/05-02-18) »
Page 125 of Run & Gun, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE/DIVE ON THE GRENADE
It's an interrupt action that allows you to avoid AoE attacks. I have used the Dive on the grenade to jump on a Fireball spell.
You are limiting them to 5d6 on initiative? An average roll is 17.5 on 5 dice, so getting a 40 is not easy.

Yeah that's was my thought as well, but they are apparently running Mystic Adepts using highly stacked Adrenaline surge normally that kinda drain is  a problem but their clearly built to eat mega drain.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #17 on: (22:55:53/05-02-18) »
Page 125 of Run & Gun, RUN FOR YOUR LIFE/DIVE ON THE GRENADE
It's an interrupt action that allows you to avoid AoE attacks. I have used the Dive on the grenade to jump on a Fireball spell.
You are limiting them to 5d6 on initiative? An average roll is 17.5 on 5 dice, so getting a 40 is not easy.

Yeah that's was my thought as well, but they are apparently running Mystic Adepts using highly stacked Adrenaline surge normally that kinda drain is  a problem but their clearly built to eat mega drain.

Indeed.  I'm not sure how it got there, but one of them has a 30 dice pool for drain.  Not difficult with a pool that large to get lucky enough to fully soak 11-13 even w/o post-edgeing.  Counting on drain as a brake isn't in the cards, it would seem.

But there's been some good ideas expressed in the thread, and thanks to all for that.   I particularly like the idea of simply putting something they "better not break" in among the NPCs as a tool to limit the "one spell solves every combat" problem.  It can even involve "spawning" the NPCs just right there next to the PCs.. after the NPCs having snuck up on them just about into melee reach before launching the attack rather than opening up from cover at range.
« Last Edit: (23:35:49/05-02-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

ShadowMaster

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« Reply #18 on: (00:26:06/05-03-18) »
You are using adept drain rules for adept powers?
Page 308 has drain for adept powers as Willpower + Body. If they have maxed out that power the drain will be 6 or 7. Don't forget you won't be adding centering or center focus to is. Adept Center only decreases negative dice pool modifiers, so it won't help either.

I still say have 1 opponent abort and jump on the spell effect and take the damage themselves, and only they take the damage.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #19 on: (02:34:37/05-03-18) »
I'm also giving serious thought about that whole "there is no dodge test for Area Indirect Combat Spells" angle.  There are at least two instances in the book which contradict this: the rule affirming that dodge tests are somehow possible as you get a "-2 modifier" when targeted by an area spell (pg 190) and the example of spell defense dice giving everyone hit by the fireball bonus dice to their nonexistent defense test (pg 295 sidebar examples).  I know it was clarified by the devs that you're not supposed to get a defense test, but clearly at one point the intent was that you would or that language wouldn't be there.  Since CGL is taking their sweet ass time errating out such troublesome references that contradict the clarification, maybe in lieu of the House Rules I'm not allowed to bring in I can just take those rules/example at face value and say you DO get a defense test vs area indirect combat spells.  There's literally no spell defense possible if you don't allow it, since I only just now realized I shouldn't have allowed a NPC mage to try to dispell a lightning ball as dispelling is only allowable on quickened/sustained spells.

mbisber

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« Reply #20 on: (05:17:59/05-03-18) »
... "there is no dodge test for Area Indirect Combat Spells" angle.

... I know it was clarified by the devs that you're not supposed to get a defense test,...

After all of the quoting of Rules in the book over Perceiving Magic, why not quote the Rule for Indirect Spells on p.183, and as modified by Interrupt Actions on p.167-8?

Spellcasting+Magic vs. Reaction+Intuition

If the target has 10 Initiative Score remaining, Why not Full Defense?

'This action adds the character's Willpower to their Defense tests for the entire Combat Turn.' (And, I note that there are other Qualities that may apply.)

Defending in Combat, p.188, under Ranged Combat, reinforces this, as does Active Defenses, p.190-1, 'A character may increase their focus on defense against any form of attack at any point in a Combat Turn, so long as the character is not surprised...'

And, I note the word 'any' for form of attack, which includes grenades..

And, then, of course, there is Edge...
« Last Edit: (05:25:31/05-03-18) by mbisber »

Lormyr

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« Reply #21 on: (09:53:03/05-03-18) »
Out of curiosity, how much karma are they up to at this point? Their numbers are certainly possible, but it takes a little bit of karma to get there.

Some folks above have already posted the run for your life option. That will help against at least one of the AoE's. Other options include:

1). Adjust the Mission's difficulty. Unlike Pathfinder Society, this is permitted in Missions. The following blurb is included in the opening info of every Mission.

Mission Difficulty
Gamemasters are encouraged to use their own judgment, and to adjust the difficulty of the encounter to take into account the abilities of the players. If the players have no magical support, replace magical defenses with mundane ones. If the players are weak on combat, reduce the number of enemies by one or two. Conversely, if theyíre steam-rolling the opposition, add one or two enemies to the fight. Missions should be difficult and something of a challenge, but should not be insurmountable.
A simple method for adjusting difficulty is to simply increase the dice pools and Professional Ratings of the enemies. A simple +1 or +2 to all combat and defense tests gives enemies a minor boost in power, while a +3 or 4 will make them truly formidable. Adding to their Professional Rating will give them a larger group Edge pool to draw from, and gamemasters are encourage to use this Edge when logical.
Often a combat scene will tell you if itís supposed to be challenging or is simply there to serve as filler or a minor obstacle that the players should steamroll through. When possible, use this as a guide to know when to tweak the enemies and encounters. If it doesnít say, assume the scene should present a challenge to the power levels of the players.

2). Have them spend Edge to go first. Then have two or three of the enemies spend Edge to use suppressive fire to slaughter their dice pools. Multiple uses of suppressive fire will not stack, but doing it two or three times until you have a roll with enough hits is quite effective.

At a certain point, it just becomes hard to challenge characters though. The Chicago Season of Missions has so much content that completing all of it will net you more than 1,000 karma with working for the people. My current PC is a Mystic Adept at 938 karma with 9 Missions left to go. Some of his stupid includes.

- Magic Attribute of 18 (12 natural, 6 power foci)
- Initiate Grade 12 (Centering, Quickening, Power Point x10)
- Drain test of 44 (10 Intuition, 10 Willpower, 12 Centering, 12 Centering Foci)
- Melee defense test 41 (10 Intuition + 10 Reaction + 12 Combat Sense, Adept + 9 Combat Sense, spell)
- Ranged defense test 50 (10 Intuition + 10 Reaction + 12 Combat Sense, Adept + 9 Combat Sense, spell + 9 Deflection, spell)
- Toxin resistance 47 (10 Body + 10 Willpower + 12 Natural Immunity, Adept + 9 Prophylaxis, spell + 6 Chemiscal Resistance)
- Damage resistance test 48 (10 Body + 13 Sleeping Tiger + 4 Argentum Coat + 6 Ballistic Shield + 2 Ballistic Mask + 1 Forearm Guards + 3 Mystic Armor, Adept + 9 Armor, Spell)
- Adept Spell Resistance at 12
- Initiative 5d6+29

His offensive capability is good, but not especially impressive since I didn't specialize in it (24 spellcasting dice, 16 punching dice). Most of the people I play with are in the 250-350 karma range, so it's tough for the GMs to adjust to my scale without butchering the others. Because of that I generally contribute to combat by buffing and sustaining a bunch of spells for the other characters so they don't have to try.

Beta

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« Reply #22 on: (10:30:26/05-03-18) »
One other thought:  if they are regularly using edge to cast those big spells, spread out the challenges. 
- More ambushes on the way to/from the main site,
- enemies showing up in waves. 
- Enemy is smart enough to have a sniper over there and the main guard force here and a flanking force coming up behind and a couple of spirits that haven't materialized just yet. 

At their power levels they'll still deal with that easily enough, but if they are relying on edge as a normal part of their strategy they may see it dwindling awfully quickly if they have to deal with three times as many groups of victims.
Jawsey  --
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ShadowcatX

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« Reply #23 on: (11:22:07/05-03-18) »
If they are rolling 30 dice to resist drain before edge I'd review their character sheet for legality.

ShadowMaster

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« Reply #24 on: (13:45:47/05-03-18) »
I gotta ask, how do they get 30 dice in drain dice?
I can see an attributes of 6/8 or 6/7 or 7/7. Add improved attribute spells of +4 okay, 14+8 + 2 initiate and 6 centering focus?
So I guess it's possible, ridiculous but possible.
On another note the spell they are using by itself is a problem.
At force 12 this thing will have an area of 12 meters radius. Take this into consideration, that's a huge area and will affect everything within it, including the building.
Damage is Physical, so 12P with 12AP.
Now lets look at what that will do.
Depending on the type of building, say a office complex, the interior walls are most likely a 6/8 that's toast. If it's more structural like a pillar, floor, ceiling, or exterior wall you are looking at higher numbers, 10/16 or 12/20.
So at 12AP those structural objects within the area effect are now a 10/4 or 12/8.
With 14 or 20 dice to resist a 12 there is going to be structural damage. Average of 4 or 7 successes say 8 or 5 damage. The 8 damage has the structure barely there. 5 is more sound, but still missing a chunk. If this is done to a structural pillar the area is no longer safe. Although most building are built to loose a pillar or two before real problems start.  If they do this in a house, well drop the house on their heads it won't survive.
Gotta look at the environment they are in and use it against them. Look at the area and don't give them large open spaces. If it is a large open space spread out the opposition so they aren't all clumped together.

Marcus

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« Reply #25 on: (13:53:41/05-03-18) »
Lormyr listed how to do it above. 10 in each attribute, 10 centering.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #26 on: (13:56:00/05-03-18) »
I gotta ask, how do they get 30 dice in drain dice?

It's something I plan to check next time I run.  Last game session the character in question summoned a F9 Spirit of Man to be his routine buffer, and I actually got 6 hits out of the nine dice!  Resulted in 12 drain, which is comparable to one of the Lightning Balls he routinely throws.  Only this time he botched the roll AND the post-edge roll, and in complaining about the drain he suffered he said he only got 6 hits out of 30 dice.  Dunno if he was exaggerating or speaking literally.  Or adding his reroll dice to the initial dice pool... that's probably what he meant now that I'm typing this out...

If a drain pool is 20 (before edge) you should get almost 7 hits on average, then on post edging you're rolling 13 dice and getting just over 4 hits on average... which is mathematically just enough to be fairly reliable at soaking 11 drain completely.  And could easily be why he claimed he had "30" dice to complain about getting 6 hits with.

Of course, in illustrating this example, I'm brought back to the realization that allowing Spirits of Man to select Innate Spell repeatedly is a huge part of the power level problem.  If a Spirit of Man is only allowed to throw 1 buff no matter what its force is, alot of the shenanigans get tamped down.  But the group is used to the regular GM allowing mages to pick Innate Spellcaster multiple times for the same Spirit of Man, so not sure if I want to pick that particular fight.

Kincaid

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« Reply #27 on: (14:02:53/05-03-18) »
A Force 12 ball lightning is 7,238m^3 of area.  That's (roughly) 16 shipping containers worth of volume.  That would envelop my 3 BR house.  If your players are using spells like this is in any area that's remotely confined, terrible terrible things are going to happen.  Assuming they somehow survive the imminent building collapse, they will pretty quickly (and correctly) be labeled terrorists.
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Marcus

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« Reply #28 on: (14:32:13/05-03-18) »
A Force 12 ball lightning is 7,238m^3 of area.  That's (roughly) 16 shipping containers worth of volume.  That would envelop my 3 BR house.  If your players are using spells like this is in any area that's remotely confined, terrible terrible things are going to happen.  Assuming they somehow survive the imminent building collapse, they will pretty quickly (and correctly) be labeled terrorists.

yeah this really the point. No one who actually does the math uses those spells. It's just to much collateral damage.
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Jack_Spade

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« Reply #29 on: (14:34:48/05-03-18) »
@Stainless Steel Devil Rat

If I were a player who had to contend with regular F12 Lightning Ball spells, I'd start using:

- Run for your life interrupt
- Mana barriers to lower the opponents dice pool and soak damage
- Spending Edge to act first and charge the group for melee
- Send expendable minions out first to soak the super spell before getting out of cover
- Counter spell
- Use spirits with the guard ability to counter spell
- Spread out Noizquitos and smoker drones, cutting down sight lines.
- Use stealth to get the drop on the mage
- Use hostages
- Send wave after wave of my men against the mages until they reach their pre-programmed kill limits.
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