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Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?

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Sphinx

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« on: (12:33:23/04-22-18) »
It's worth noting here that anyone can spot a quickened or sustained spell or other magical effect with a Perception Test [threshold = skill – Force] (see "Perceiving Magic," SR5, p.280). Low-Force effects are subtle, but the higher the Force, the easier they are to notice.

Marcus

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« Reply #1 on: (13:01:18/04-22-18) »
It's worth noting here that anyone can spot a quickened or sustained spell or other magical effect with a Perception Test [threshold = skill – Force] (see "Perceiving Magic," SR5, p.280). Low-Force effects are subtle, but the higher the Force, the easier they are to notice.

That's during casting.
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Sphinx

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« Reply #2 on: (13:31:43/04-22-18) »
That's during casting.

I don't think so. The rules on p.280-281 don't say anything about making the perception test only when the relevant magical skill is being used. On the contrary, you can see the shimmer of a spirit any time, not just as it's being summoned. You can feel the tingle of a ward that's already in place, not just during the ritual that creates it. If the magic is strong enough, anyone can sense it. A high enough skill with a low enough Force can be practically impossible to spot, but there's always a chance.

Jack_Spade

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« Reply #3 on: (15:20:06/04-22-18) »
I think Marcus is in the right here:

"Noticing magic is a Simple Perception + Intuition [Mental] Test with a threshold equal to the Skill Rating of the being performing it minus the Force of the magic, or 6 – Force if there’s no skill involved (minimum 1 in either case). For example, if a magician with Spellcasting 6 casts a Force 4 manabolt, the threshold for spotting her do it is 2 (Skill Rating 6 – Force 4). If you just stepped through a Force 5 ward, the threshold to notice the markings or feel the tingle is 1 (6 – Force 5). You get a + 2 dice pool modifier on this test if you have any magic-related Active or Knowledge Skill. Obviously, if a magician is throwing fire from his fingertips, you’re probably going to notice without making
a test. But if the magic is subtle, then you have to pick up some dice."

The important word here is "performing" rather than "sustaining".
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Kiirnodel

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« Reply #4 on: (15:34:19/04-22-18) »
Right, and noticing a magical barrier as you walk through it, an astral form passing through your aura, or the effects of a spirit materializing are all exceptions to that general guideline that it only applies to "as it is happening" magic.

« Reply #5 on: (16:34:24/04-22-18) »
I think Marcus is in the right here:

"Noticing magic is a Simple Perception + Intuition [Mental] Test with a threshold equal to the Skill Rating of the being performing it minus the Force of the magic, or 6 – Force if there’s no skill involved (minimum 1 in either case). For example, if a magician with Spellcasting 6 casts a Force 4 manabolt, the threshold for spotting her do it is 2 (Skill Rating 6 – Force 4). If you just stepped through a Force 5 ward, the threshold to notice the markings or feel the tingle is 1 (6 – Force 5). You get a + 2 dice pool modifier on this test if you have any magic-related Active or Knowledge Skill. Obviously, if a magician is throwing fire from his fingertips, you’re probably going to notice without making
a test. But if the magic is subtle, then you have to pick up some dice."

The important word here is "performing" rather than "sustaining".

I gotta disagree, and agree with Sphinx.

The operative words in the case of noticing precast/sustained/quickened spells isn't "being performed" but "if there's no skill involved".  After the spell is cast, the spellcasting skill is no longer relevant and ongoing magical effects are just 6-F (minimum of 1), for example Mana Barriers.

Edit:  It doesn't say "Wards and only wards are 6-F", they were just listed after "For example" as an example of a no skill involved case, even though skill test was obviously required to establish a Ward in the first place.
« Last Edit: (16:53:47/04-22-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Marcus

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« Reply #6 on: (17:55:06/04-22-18) »
I've had this argument before, and result is always the same, the language in the rules is very clear. Performing means when you cast it. If you wanna house rule it for ya'lls table be my guest.  That rules is consistent across multiple editions, and comes up reasonably often. I recall looking it up on multiple occasions.
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PiXeL01

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« Reply #7 on: (18:02:26/04-22-18) »
Perceiving Magic is only during casting or when you are the target of a magical effect. It isn’t to see active magical effects.
Shamans would constantly have their totemic mask visible is that wasn’t the case. 

Back in the days there used to be rules for seeing powerful spirits, barriers hiding out in astral space as their power would bleed through into physical space, distorting reality by mere presence.

« Reply #8 on: (18:04:43/04-22-18) »
I've had this argument before, and result is always the same, the language in the rules is very clear. Performing means when you cast it. If you wanna house rule it for ya'lls table be my guest.  That rules is consistent across multiple editions, and comes up reasonably often. I recall looking it up on multiple occasions.

It's not a house rule to look at the second half of the rule.

To do more than just give a snappy quip:

Quote from: SR5 Pg 280-281: Noticing Magic
Noticing magic is a Simple Perception + Intuition
[Mental] Test with a threshold equal to the Skill Rating of
the being performing it minus the Force of the magic, or
6 – Force if there’s no skill involved (minimum 1 in either
case). For example,
if a magician with Spellcasting 6 casts
a Force 4 manabolt, the threshold for spotting her do it
is 2 (Skill Rating 6 – Force 4). If you just stepped through
a Force 5 ward, the threshold to notice the markings or
feel the tingle is 1 (6 – Force 5).
You get a + 2 dice pool
modifier on this test if you have any magic-related Active
or Knowledge Skill.

To say that spells can only be noticed during the act of being cast is to ignore everything italicized in the rule.  Quoted from the rulebook- not a house rule.   To argue that you can't notice a sustained spell because it's no longer in the act of being cast is to logically also argue that you can't notice a standing ward because it's not during the Ritual Spellcasting skill test... and that's explicitly not true since the example lists noticing a ward even after the ward was cast.

« Reply #9 on: (18:07:45/04-22-18) »
Perceiving Magic is only during casting or when you are the target of a magical effect. It isn’t to see active magical effects.
Shamans would constantly have their totemic mask visible is that wasn’t the case. 

Except that it explicitly IS the case that you can see active magical effects, as the "for example" example given is a Ward.  Since you can see a Ward even after the Ritual Spellcasting test is made, it's nonsense to argue that you can't see a Spell after the Spellcasting test is made.

Quote
Back in the days there used to be rules for seeing powerful spirits, barriers hiding out in astral space as their power would bleed through into physical space, distorting reality by mere presence.


Quote from: SR5 pg 280, Noticing Magic (the "fluff" before the crunch)
Magic is rarely subtle. Any form of magic (conjuring,
spellcasting, enchanting, magical lodges, spirits, etc.)
changes the world around it. Sometimes it’s obvious
through a magician’s gestures or incantations (magicians
seen by non-Awakened people are sometimes
called “twitchy fingers”). Spirits sometimes cause the
air to shimmer, even from astral space. People have reported
feeling chills, dread, or other unnatural sensations
they can’t quite put their finger on when magic is
in the area.

You absolutely have the chance to "see" a spirit lurking in astral space, even if you're a mundane.  So long as your perception is good enough/the spirit's Force is high enough.
« Last Edit: (18:20:24/04-22-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Marcus

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« Reply #10 on: (18:26:24/04-22-18) »
It goes back to third edition, when you could take gaes to add things like chants and stuff to spell casting to make it truly obvious, or look at the new Shamanic mask optional  rules.  I didn't say it couldn't be noticed see what Kiir said, or if armor spell blocks a bullet, then there is something to notice it. But if all that happens is a mage walks in the door with quickened enhanced reflexes there is nothing to see.  Unless your astral observing there's no chance to detect that spell.
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« Reply #11 on: (18:31:03/04-22-18) »
It goes back to third edition, when you could take gaes to add things like chants and stuff to spell casting to make it truly obvious, or look at the new Shamanic mask optional  rules.  I didn't say it couldn't be noticed see what Kiir said, or if armor spell blocks a bullet, then there is something to notice it. But if all that happens is a mage walks in the door with quickened enhanced reflexes there is nothing to see.  Unless your astral observing there's no chance to detect that spell.

Well I don't know what to tell you.  Not only do the rules flatly contradict what you're saying, there's contextual affirmation that the rules mean what they say in that even mundanes can potentially see the "sparkles or shimmers or whatever" passively imposed into the physical world by active magic.

Quote from: SR5 Tactics for Mundanes pg 357
Before anything can be done, a magical threat must
be identified. If a front-line security guard has received
any kind of professional training, they will have been
taught how to identify a variety of magical threats:
metahuman magicians, critters, and spirits, among others.
If magical activity is identified in an opposing force
(see Perceiving Magic, p. 280), the security guards immediately
act to counter it.

Being able to "see" your sustained spells is implicitly called out as a suggestion/rule for how the GM has security know who's the mage in order to "geek him first".  This text is saying that even your mundane bouncer/doorman/rent-a-cop can potentially see active magic so long as they've (quoting here) had "any kind of professional training".  I don't know how one can honestly argue that spells don't fall under the category of "active magic".

Now when it comes to house rules: I think a reasonable one is that a mage can end his own quickened spells without having to dispell them off.  It does seem arguable that stricly by RAW he'd have to scrape them off with a Barrier or Dispel them away, but it seems reasonable to me that he can chose to simply end them.  I think it does seem the consensus is that you can't turn a quickened spell back "on" though after it's been removed.
« Last Edit: (18:52:33/04-22-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

Marcus

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« Reply #12 on: (19:06:52/04-22-18) »
SSDR, 4 people have told you how those rules works, and how it's always been used in play. I can't make you agree, and if I could I wouldn't. But you haven't responded to ether points concerning Gaes or the optional rules that do make it obvious. Sustained spell can be spotted by astral or by why was discussed by Kiir.

The Tactics rules are for when guards see people cast spells in front of them. Other magic are pretty obvious, most elemental indirects fireball, lightning bolt those sorts of spells. High force direct can be kinda obvious, gonna take a decent amount of force to drop someone with stunbolt, but then again someone walks in reagents a stunbolt, effective force of 1, odds anyone spots that is super low, that's all working as intended. But there nothing in there that says they spot quickened spells man. Try reading it from our interpretation and you can see it works just as well that way.

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« Reply #13 on: (19:31:00/04-22-18) »
SSDR, 4 people have told you how those rules works, and how it's always been used in play. I can't make you agree, and if I could I wouldn't. But you haven't responded to ether points concerning Gaes or the optional rules that do make it obvious. Sustained spell can be spotted by astral or by why was discussed by Kiir.

The Tactics rules are for when guards see people cast spells in front of them. Other magic are pretty obvious, most elemental indirects fireball, lightning bolt those sorts of spells. High force direct can be kinda obvious, gonna take a decent amount of force to drop someone with stunbolt, but then again someone walks in reagents a stunbolt, effective force of 1, odds anyone spots that is super low, that's all working as intended. But there nothing in there that says they spot quickened spells man. Try reading it from our interpretation and you can see it works just as well that way.

Well I'm participating in the thread because I do want to understand alternate points of view, so I appreciate your humoring me.  My difficulty with what you've been saying is that it doesn't jive with what the rulebook says.  Doesn't matter what you say the rule says, the rulebook says what it says.  And it's been quoted repeatedly upthread so I won't quote it again here. 

Near as I understand you, you're saying that either you can't notice any magic at all if it's not during the casting, or that sustained/quickened spells are not analagous to Wards for the purposes of this rule.  Obviously you can notice magic post-casting, or else there wouldn't be a mechanic spelled out for doing so (6-F formula) and an example given doing so (noticing a Ward without mentioning the Ward's creator's Ritual Spellcasting skill level as being relevant).  The rulebook also uses the language of "skills" as opposed to mentioning "spellcasting" specifically, so sustained spells can't be non-analagous to Wards on the basis of being different skill.  The rule and example make an implicit but IMO clear statement that magic doing nothing other than passively existing is potentially perceptible on the physical plane, even by mundanes.  I'm simply not following your logic when you say by implication that spells don't count.

As for my lack of answers to your points:  Yeah I've ignored them, but that's because I don't understand what you're getting at rather than bad faith arguing.  What about Geasa and optional rules render moot the rules as described in the core rulebook on pages 280-281?  Honestly.  Give me a citation and let me see what you're looking at, because I've played since 1st edition and I have what I consider to be a better than decent understanding of how the magic rules have changed over the editions and yet I still have no idea what you're talking about with regards to Geasa (they are voluntary restrictions on the performance of your magic as a means of making magic easier- it's been that way since the 1st ed Grimoire and confirmed for 5th in SG on pg 142).


Edit:  If any Mods happen across the thread, it'd be super if you could split the thread out from Sphinx's post and use the discussion since then as a new thread entitled "Can mundanes see Sustained Spells?" or such.  Greatly appreciated.

Edit2:  Thanks!
« Last Edit: (19:55:31/04-22-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »

ShadowcatX

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« Reply #14 on: (20:03:57/04-22-18) »
After reading through I have to agree with Marcus et Al. I just don't see anything in your quotes that implies in any way that magic that isn't obvious (ie. Levitate, ward, etc.) can be seen by anyone after the casting. But let's assume you are correct for a minute.

Do you think foci sparkle as well? If so how do you justify people selling fake foci? How do you justify people having foci, powerful foci in fact, and not knowing it?

Do you have any novels where mundanes notice magic just because? Any piece of fluff? Anything that doesn't go against everything that is essentially Shadowrun?