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Power Creep - Reloaded

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Nomad Zophiel

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« Reply #30 on: (08:59:48/01-01-11) »
Meh. You're not Ancient enough. :P

As for the topic, i find the Designate spell from War! breaking the barrier between magic and tech. It's at least unnerving, because till now i saw that technology and magic didn't get along. And with Designate you can fool software and break encryption with magic. That's like Hacking with magic. So, the designer of the spell must have found a way to interface magic with technology. Because the usual 'mind-affecting' Manipulation mojo won't work, when you can't see your target - which is not the thing you Designate, only the person targeting. That would be working through a Sympathetic Link, and that's Ritual Sorcery.
And, as someone on TGD forums noted(yes, i registered there during the first War!-related skirmishes), Designate would be a best anti-bombardment defense. You mark a rock, and every artillery unit, or bomber fires at it only. And then you summon a spirit, and tell him to present that rock to the enemy commander...

OK, haven't read WAR yet. Let me get this straight, there's a SPELL whose effect is to tell sensors "that's the target"? This gives me evil, evil ideas.

Kot

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« Reply #31 on: (09:06:44/01-01-11) »
I don't have War! yet, though i think I'll buy it to see for myself if it's as bad as people say. That's how those who have it describe the spell.
And yes, your ideas are evil for sure. I can't imagine good ones with that kind of magic/tech hybrid.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
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KarmaInferno

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« Reply #32 on: (10:35:18/01-01-11) »
It not only simulates the targeting "dot" for weapons to lock on to, but for some reason, unlike ANY OTHER SPELL IN THE GAME, it restricts the targeting of the spell based off the type of designator being emulated. Designate requires you have thermovision to emulate an infrared dot, or a cyber-radar to emulate a radar designator.

Every other spell has targeting restrictions based off the TARGET, not off the spell effect.



-k

Otakusensei

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« Reply #33 on: (12:31:19/01-01-11) »
And the author posted on Dumpshock saying that he thought the spell should negotiate any encryption on the weapon system in order to feed the new targeting data to it.

I know illusions by their nature "fool" a target, but Designate really crosses a line.  It doesn't create false sensor data to misdriect a person or expert system as much as it hacks the node.  Something magic simply should not be able to do by the setting.  IT also opens the door for Decrypt and Exploit spells.

Got a node with 24 hour encryption running?  How long does the spell take to break it?  These a re questions that should never come up from official material.

FastJack

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« Reply #34 on: (13:41:23/01-01-11) »
Quote from: War! p. 178
DESIGNATE
      This spell mimics the effects of a target designator (p. 34, Arsenal). Once the target is designated by this spell, the caster does not need to maintain line of sight but does need to sustain the spell to keep the target “lit.”  The hits from the Spellcasting test are used as the net hits added to the indirect fire test when weapons are fired at the target.
      This spell can only create a part of the spectrum that is integrally accessible to the caster. By default, this means it can only mimic a laser designator in the visible light spectrum. If the caster has thermographic vision (either natural or implanted, but not via imaging device), the spell may also act as an infrared designator. If the caster has an implanted radar sensor, the spell may mimic radar and microwave (maser) designators.

Quote from: Arsenal, p. 34
TARGET DESIGNATORS
      Target designators are used to mark an enemy with reflected energy, allowing weapons equipped with seeker gear to home in on a target (see Indirect Fire, p. 162) . Each has a Signal rating from 1-6. Their Signal rating determines their range.

I think the problem is everyone thinks Designators "tell" the weapon where to fire. They don't. The weapon has Seeker gear to find the designator and home in on it. This is in use today. All the target designators do are "paint" the targets with their laser light, and the bomb's seeker equipment searches the area for the reflected light of that laser pointer. So all the spell is doing is creating a Laser/Thermo/Radar "painter".
« Last Edit: (13:45:44/01-01-11) by FastJack »

Otakusensei

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« Reply #35 on: (14:24:18/01-01-11) »
Quote from: War! p. 178
DESIGNATE
      This spell mimics the effects of a target designator (p. 34, Arsenal). Once the target is designated by this spell, the caster does not need to maintain line of sight but does need to sustain the spell to keep the target “lit.”  The hits from the Spellcasting test are used as the net hits added to the indirect fire test when weapons are fired at the target.
      This spell can only create a part of the spectrum that is integrally accessible to the caster. By default, this means it can only mimic a laser designator in the visible light spectrum. If the caster has thermographic vision (either natural or implanted, but not via imaging device), the spell may also act as an infrared designator. If the caster has an implanted radar sensor, the spell may mimic radar and microwave (maser) designators.

Quote from: Arsenal, p. 34
TARGET DESIGNATORS
      Target designators are used to mark an enemy with reflected energy, allowing weapons equipped with seeker gear to home in on a target (see Indirect Fire, p. 162) . Each has a Signal rating from 1-6. Their Signal rating determines their range.

I think the problem is everyone thinks Designators "tell" the weapon where to fire. They don't. The weapon has Seeker gear to find the designator and home in on it. This is in use today. All the target designators do are "paint" the targets with their laser light, and the bomb's seeker equipment searches the area for the reflected light of that laser pointer. So all the spell is doing is creating a Laser/Thermo/Radar "painter".

Sure, but how does a weapon know which painted target is the one to fire on?  If that was true anyone with a designator of any type could simply point it at a rock and defeat all indirect fire in an area that uses that type of designator.  And you would think that by 2072 they have compensated for having multiple designators by linking the designator and the weapon by the wireless networking gear both have by default.

I'll also stress that Aaron posted on Dumpshock (http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=33816&st=0&p=1023613&#entry1023613) to clarify this as well.

So yes, he's aware that it talks to the weapon and the target, and that it decrypts in order to fool the pilot or system of the weapon.  That's bad mechanics, goes against the rules of sorcery as laid out in Street Magic and sets a scary precedent for spells that hack.

It's one thing to make a spell that mimics the physical activity of a designator, that would be fine.  But the part that gets a weapon to use that designation as a target is hacker territory and should be well outside the scope of any spell.

Kot

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« Reply #36 on: (14:44:18/01-01-11) »
If the spell mimics the way designators work, how the hell does it know what's the code? It can't in some miraculous way copy something that the mage cannot know, like the enemy's code. As for his own, yeah, but that would probably call for a test, let's say Logic+Electronic Warfare, to remember the code, or to copy it from commlink into memory.
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
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FastJack

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« Reply #37 on: (15:43:39/01-01-11) »
Sure, but how does a weapon know which painted target is the one to fire on?  If that was true anyone with a designator of any type could simply point it at a rock and defeat all indirect fire in an area that uses that type of designator.  And you would think that by 2072 they have compensated for having multiple designators by linking the designator and the weapon by the wireless networking gear both have by default.

I'll also stress that Aaron posted on Dumpshock (http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=33816&st=0&p=1023613&#entry1023613) to clarify this as well.

So yes, he's aware that it talks to the weapon and the target, and that it decrypts in order to fool the pilot or system of the weapon.  That's bad mechanics, goes against the rules of sorcery as laid out in Street Magic and sets a scary precedent for spells that hack.

It's one thing to make a spell that mimics the physical activity of a designator, that would be fine.  But the part that gets a weapon to use that designation as a target is hacker territory and should be well outside the scope of any spell.
The weapon knows by the Seeker hardware/software installed into it. To fix the issue of multiple designators, you could do something as simple as make sure to use a very specific wavelength of the spectrum being used. The software could then "dial-in" to just focus on that wavelength, ignoring all others it sees.

By linking the designator and seeker hardware through a wireless link, you then open it up so that any hacker could jam/redirect the designation as well.  Not to mention that be creating a wireless link between the designator and seeker, you no longer need a visual spectrum designator to direct the incoming fire, since a wireless link could simply send updated position (either GPS or something similar) information to the seeker hardware.

As for encryption? I haven't seen anything about Designators having Encryption, merely a Signal rating. Designators do not "talk" to anything. The biggest thing I can think of to have Seeker-type weapons having some kind of encryption between the designator and the weapon would be to using a specific wavelength and possibly having the designator firing in nano-second "pulses" (akin to a Morse-code/fiber-optic communications).

Shrike30

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« Reply #38 on: (17:16:46/01-01-11) »
Yeah, I really don't see where this issue is coming from.  I'm not a fan of the type of designator being restricted to a part of the spectrum the caster can "see" in, but that's a side complaint.  I don't see how this spell does anything that a tech-based designator doesn't.

Otakusensei

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« Reply #39 on: (17:41:40/01-01-11) »
Sure, but how does a weapon know which painted target is the one to fire on?  If that was true anyone with a designator of any type could simply point it at a rock and defeat all indirect fire in an area that uses that type of designator.  And you would think that by 2072 they have compensated for having multiple designators by linking the designator and the weapon by the wireless networking gear both have by default.

I'll also stress that Aaron posted on Dumpshock (http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=33816&st=0&p=1023613&#entry1023613) to clarify this as well.

So yes, he's aware that it talks to the weapon and the target, and that it decrypts in order to fool the pilot or system of the weapon.  That's bad mechanics, goes against the rules of sorcery as laid out in Street Magic and sets a scary precedent for spells that hack.

It's one thing to make a spell that mimics the physical activity of a designator, that would be fine.  But the part that gets a weapon to use that designation as a target is hacker territory and should be well outside the scope of any spell.
The weapon knows by the Seeker hardware/software installed into it. To fix the issue of multiple designators, you could do something as simple as make sure to use a very specific wavelength of the spectrum being used. The software could then "dial-in" to just focus on that wavelength, ignoring all others it sees.

By linking the designator and seeker hardware through a wireless link, you then open it up so that any hacker could jam/redirect the designation as well.  Not to mention that be creating a wireless link between the designator and seeker, you no longer need a visual spectrum designator to direct the incoming fire, since a wireless link could simply send updated position (either GPS or something similar) information to the seeker hardware.

As for encryption? I haven't seen anything about Designators having Encryption, merely a Signal rating. Designators do not "talk" to anything. The biggest thing I can think of to have Seeker-type weapons having some kind of encryption between the designator and the weapon would be to using a specific wavelength and possibly having the designator firing in nano-second "pulses" (akin to a Morse-code/fiber-optic communications).

Alright, reading through the section on indirect fire from Arsenal, I see the confusion.  There is Information-Guided where a spotter feeds targeting data directly to a weapon using a adds hits from a sensor test, and there is Designator-Guided where hits on an attack test with a designator add to the indirect fire test.

Aaron didn't do anyone any good with his post though, and appears to have mixed them up as well because designator-based indirect fire should have nothing to do with encryption.  There are also no rules for mimicking or spoofing designator-based indirect fire that I found.

Nomad Zophiel

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« Reply #40 on: (02:49:33/01-02-11) »
My main concern is, as mentioned elsewhere, ritual magic, especially with the proper metamagics. Got an enemy? Let's use radar as an example here, because its easier. Build a sympathetic link or similar and cast a Force (presumably Signal) 6 or higher on your target. Meanwhile your Rigger's Tower is floating around the city, loaded with Heimdalls. If your opponent isn't in a radar blind, he takes a bunch of missiles to the face as soon as the Tower blunders into the target's Signal range. Forget the to-hit bonuses from specialized hardware just command all the missiles to aim for the designator once it reaches or rises above ground level. If your target is in a radar blind, he has to come up with counterspelling before leaving it or the same thing happens.

Total Investment - One mage of Initiate level 1+ with appropriate Lodge, Sympathetic Linking, Designate spell and Magic+Ritual>10 and
One Rigger with less than 50k worth of drones.

Net result - 10 High Explosive Missiles up the nose of someone whose location is unknown at the start of the ritual fired from 10-15 km away (based on Heimdall fuel and Signal 6-7). stagger the launches just a bit and you could pretty well cut a tunnel into the Aztechnology Pyramid to take out a target inside it.

None of the other stuff is Milspec or even especially rare. If the Heimdalls seem like overkill, replace them with a network of spy drones patrolling the air looking for the signal. Either way its pretty scary compared to Detect Individual.

Mäx

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« Reply #41 on: (05:04:23/01-02-11) »
Either way its pretty scary compared to Detect Individual.
Why is it scary compared to Detect Individual or even more spesifically how is it any scarier than a ritual cast combat spell, that just straight kills the target.
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Nomad Zophiel

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« Reply #42 on: (05:20:11/01-02-11) »
Specifically it works at double the range of a long range Detect Individual spell (both at Force 6) and that range is based on any drone thing with an appropriate sensor type that knows what to look for instead of the caster specifically. You don't even need a Rigger, per se, just a handful of arial drones with a patrol pattern. As for combat spells, it comes down to utility. For a straight up kill, a combat spell would probably be more effective most times. In a WAR! setting, (or a gang slaughtering one for that matter) the difference between being able to pop one fireball and being able to target dozens of drone missiles becomes significant. Against hard targets there's a big difference between one area blast at DV 12 and ten at DV 14 that can be used in a spread pattern.
« Last Edit: (05:21:58/01-02-11) by Nomad Zophiel »

Kot

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« Reply #43 on: (06:23:45/01-02-11) »
Wait. Even a laser designator uses 'encryption', by providing a specific pulse-code to the receiving missile/artillery unit. How does the spell do that?If it mimics the effect of a target designator, then it has to 'know' that code somehow. That means the mage has to know it, or magic finds a way to interface itself with technology.

P.S. Wouldn't it be easier to use a Guidance spirit? ;P
Mariusz "Kot" Butrykowski
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Nomad Zophiel

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« Reply #44 on: (07:01:53/01-02-11) »
I just can't help but picture a circle of mages (or one IE) on call to the Corporate Court with this spell. Sentence is levied, ritual is conducted, Thor carries out the sentence on the designated target. Its not a supremely hideous, game breaking spell but it is a game changing spell in terms of what people have to account for. Its one more thing that has to be secured against like leaving DNA at the scene, erasing tags, sealing things to get by an explosives sniffer etc. The only upside for the non-magical is that they can tell when they've been Designated if they have the right sensors. They still can't necessarily make it go away but they can get somewhere shielded.

Mages with any sort of unusual sense (especially radar) and matching drones just got much more valuable.