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GM needs Metagame advice. Mundane vs. Magic

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Seras

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« on: (15:01:11/06-04-18) »
Hi everybody,

I have read and noticed that Magic is pretty strong thie edition. I dont want to follow the most common advice " Ban this or That in your games", rather I'd like to metagame the problem.

"You are a mundane human in the sixed world. you do not have cool abilities yet somehow must defend your loved ones. "

Or

" We Humanis/gang/politico folks gotta show the public that we can protect them "

I have come up with some ideas, and would like your feedback.

1.Mundanes outnumber the Awakend 100 ( or 1000 ?) to 1. The same for manifested spirits


Send wave after wave of drug infused mob with guns at them

2. Send in more planes !!

Send wave after wave of cheap drones into fight to take them down. For added nasties do this at night or with heavy smoke grenades.

This has the bonus of only costing nuyen not lives. It could also easily be combiend with tatic number 1.

3. Bioweapons

FAB strains, awakend plants and certain chriters can really makes a magic users /spirits life miserable.

This again reduces the cost of human life.


Please note I am not deliberatly trying to kill my PC's . It is more of trying to find a way that NPC can pose a threat to them within the world, without breaking the rules or banning fun ideas.

Thank you for your feedback ! :)
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

Xenon

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« Reply #1 on: (15:41:36/06-04-18) »
I think that a lot of the mechanics are already in place, just that some GMs maybe don't utilize them enough.

 

For example, I hear a lot of fuss about quickened spells.

There isn't really any difference between different living auras. If an astral observer is sensing at a crowd he can't really single out if any of them are awakened or not. Not without sensing each individual aura. Once he decide to spend the time to observe a single aura in detail he will quickly realize if the subject is awakened (it is basically as obvious as a neon sign or a running crowd) but only if he bother to check.

Now.... an adept that walk around with active foci (which have astral Forms, not just an Aura) and magicians that walk around with quickened spells (which also will have astral Forms, not just an Aura) will be obvious to an astral observer. An astral observer that is sensing a crowd will Automatically notice the astral Forms. Odds are high that he will single out the adept and the magician in a crowd of people.

It is basically asking for trouble. Kinda like walking around down town with drawn weapons. You will draw attention to yourself. Often unwanted attention.

If the GM will play this card well then he will probably end up with players that will think both once and twice before openly walking around with active foci and quickened spells. If the GM doesn't play this card then he will probably end up with players that constantly walk around with active foci and even multiple quickened spells as a permanent solution.
« Last Edit: (15:45:15/06-04-18) by Xenon »

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: (15:43:03/06-04-18) »
You're right that many will not trust you, and you will probably face discrimination here and there. But there's also the problem that you're not the only one around. Player sends a Spirit after enemies on the public road? Corporate Security Spirits take potshots at them when they fly by, because how do you tell a terrorist from a non-terrorist? Answer: The only non-terrorist is a dead terrorist. You carelessly walk into a bar while Assensing? Congratulations, you're now a viable target to every Astral-only entity hanging around. Send your spirits into a Shedim den? They recently took a hit and have a bunch of angry Evanescing Spirits that are ready to tear you apart while your meatspace characters can't join in (and this is AFTER the background count that weakens your spirits but not the Shedim...).

Mundane: Security measures. Corpmages of course set wards, which give a warning when broken and then recover a turn later. But there's also doors that contain a magic-detection plant which glows, triggering light sensors and with that the silent alarm. A special breed of Paracritter that can assense and realise there's an astral form nearby, or just mundane guard dogs that sniff out the invisible entities by smell. Hidden laser tripwires that aren't visible in the Astral since only living things are obvious there, so good luck noticing those when you're sneaking about with a sustaining penalty. Not to mention pressure plates...
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: (16:24:41/06-04-18) »
You can use Background Counts to keep Awakened PCs under control without nerfing mundanes at all.  And they should be damn near omnipresent to some degree.. as they're caused by

People
Emotions
Pollution
A general lack of "naturalness"

A sprawl has all 4 in ample supply.  A scene having no BGC should be more noteworthy than there being one.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

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« Reply #4 on: (16:31:15/06-04-18) »
I wouldn't go the 'it's everywhere' route, since some things turn normal, so most neighbourhoods would be fine, really. But you enter Barrens and chances are you'll hit 2s and the rare 3, and 1s are mostly guaranteed. A massive shootout involving citizens? Bam. You go into the tunnels of the Ork Underground, well they have their own Barrens and those are even worse Background-wise.

To compare: In Missions, all of Chicago within the walls is a Background Count of 2. It's not as bad as in the old days, but in a place of default misery, 2 is often there.

Note that for people with Weapon/Power/Spell Foci, a Background count hurts them twice: Once through the reduced Force so less dice bonus, and once through the normal 'it's a magic test so penalty'. So that panic after an explosion went off in a mall, is a -2x2 so 4 dice lost for spells.
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #5 on: (16:37:12/06-04-18) »
Being "everywhere" isn't  the same as being everywhere all the time.  But two lovers do some necking on the bench waiting for the bus?  Boom instant BGC.  Low level and highly ephemeral sure, but BGCs should be about as common as rain in Seattle if you say everything that can cause a BGC does cause a BGC.

BGCs are potentially a big deal if your run includes a scene set in a nightclub, strip joint, restaurant, or gods forbid a scene at a packed to capacity Wembley Stadium hosting a football match between Arsenal and Real Madrid.. just when a referee calls back Arsenal's apparent goal....
« Last Edit: (16:39:37/06-04-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

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« Reply #6 on: (16:39:37/06-04-18) »
Yeah that's the kind of exaggeration that I disagree with. -_- Two lovers shouldn't just bam cause a BC big enough to impact people in their vicinity. Now if you cast Orgasm on a crowd... (Which I banned from my games, incidentally.) Or enter a brothel. Or a busy danceclub's dancefloor, really. Now the bar should be fine.
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Seras

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« Reply #7 on: (16:40:01/06-04-18) »
Thnk you for the tipps !
I apologise for my posts beeing weird to read, I am fluent in english, but almost never write in english anymore :-(

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #8 on: (16:44:32/06-04-18) »
Yeah that's the kind of exaggeration that I disagree with. -_- Two lovers shouldn't just bam cause a BC big enough to impact people in their vicinity. Now if you cast Orgasm on a crowd... (Which I banned from my games, incidentally.) Or enter a brothel. Or a busy danceclub's dancefloor, really. Now the bar should be fine.

What's the exaggeration?  Per the examples cited in Street Grimoire, a lovers' tryst is sufficient to cause a Rating 1-3 BGC.  As is a violent crime.  Oh, did you just kill that security guard?  Guess what.  You caused your own BGC that's socking your stuff.
« Last Edit: (16:47:07/06-04-18) by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Marcus

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« Reply #9 on: (16:58:51/06-04-18) »
Yeah magic is cool. But so is Tech. A decently cybered up and built street Sam is still a serious threat even to a decent initiated combat mages. Hell a decker with a cyber arm and a little effort can hit shooting pool of 21. So just imagine what you can do with an assault rifle, full up physicals, strong initiative and body full of the latest and greatest ware. 

Players have an easy to time imaging how cool it is to play a mage, and do all that Dresden files style spell slinging. But point for point tech should easily starts stronger then magic. Magic progression is easier to see, vs tech. But advanced tech weapons are not fooling around,  a crime canon will make short work of even fairly serious monsters, and that's lower end advanced tech weapon. Sniper Rifles, Drones with heavy weapon mounts, grenade launchers, military ordinance any and all will get the job done no problem. 
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #10 on: (17:51:05/06-04-18) »
Yeah that's the kind of exaggeration that I disagree with. -_- Two lovers shouldn't just bam cause a BC big enough to impact people in their vicinity. Now if you cast Orgasm on a crowd... (Which I banned from my games, incidentally.) Or enter a brothel. Or a busy danceclub's dancefloor, really. Now the bar should be fine.

What's the exaggeration?  Per the examples cited in Street Grimoire, a lovers' tryst is sufficient to cause a Rating 1-3 BGC.  As is a violent crime.  Oh, did you just kill that security guard?  Guess what.  You caused your own BGC that's socking your stuff.
Yeah that. -_- The examples are way too triggerhappy in their description.
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adzling

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« Reply #11 on: (17:57:17/06-04-18) »
agreed

"Yeah that. -_- The examples are way too triggerhappy in their description."

Redwulfe

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« Reply #12 on: (18:03:44/06-04-18) »
I guess I am on the trigger happy side with BGC then because I play it close to the examples. lovers on a bench will cause a count of 1 in one of my games as BGC is like environmental modifiers for mages. light fog causes a -1 being 7 meters away from a target causes a -1 shooting a fool causes mages after the kill to have a -2.

To me it was simply just the way it was. modifiers happen. To each their own though. I just would call being in line with the rules exaggerated. To me many GMs are very relaxed with the rules, which is also fine, just not how I would do it.

As far as the OP's question though. one method of making the mage have a harder time is to use the rules as they are presented when it comes to BGC, as well as use common fear and paranoia when it comes to what common people think of mages. I really like the aura things that was pointed out by Xenon, never really thought of it until now, but I will in the future.
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Tarislar

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« Reply #13 on: (14:13:53/06-09-18) »
Instead of throwing PC #s of gangers w/ 3's in stats & skills armed with pistols at them, give them something serious to deal with.

Have them piss off the wrong family somehow & toss them 2x PC's in Mafia Enforcers with 5-6's in Agility,  5-6's in automatics + Specializations in Assault Rifles armed with AK97's.

Have a couple keep up suppression fire & the rest using Long Bursts with Recoil Comp 6 and laser spotters & maybe a grenade launcher.

Don't have them be all bunched up so that a single Fireball takes them all out.

Boost their actions w/ single levels of Wire Reflexes, or a couple in Reaction Enhancers, maybe some Boosted Reflexes,  or just plain Stim Drugs for a few of them.

If they can shrug off multiple rounds of that kind of automatic fire then either they are very lucky or very powerful,  either way that kind of firefight will bring in loads of cops with SWAT teams which gives reason for Round 2 with the same as above basically but heavier Armor on the Cops & Gas Grenades just to mess with the PCs even more & for good measure, they come with their own combat mage, drone rigger, & bad arse Swat Lt. with a couple million in BioWare inside him.

If they can survive that kind of night, well, perhaps its time to throw a dragon at them (a small one anyway).


Streetsam_Crunch

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« Reply #14 on: (15:21:02/06-09-18) »
Lot of great suggestions here! (used more than a few myself ;) )

Also don't forget that even 'mundane' NPC's can have an awakened guard animal as well to detect/defend against magic use. Many security teams have them, as well as corporations paying fat nuyen to mages who maintain wards on sensitive areas. In addition to that, it's 'cost effective' and 'more humane' when security carried things like stick n' shock rounds, stun batons, and/or shock gloves... all of which are serious mage banes when it comes to stacking against drain...

Crunch~