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GM needs Metagame advice. Mundane vs. Magic

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neomerlin

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« Reply #15 on: (19:42:34/06-17-18) »
Mundanes outnumbering awakened by a huge margin is already canon. Even among awakened, full magicians are rarer than aspected mages. It's easy to forget because we spend all our times with PCs, who are by their nature exceptional and weird, but mages are a minority in the rest of world. (So are non-humans, while we're on the topic.) Progressive society is probably only just getting comfortable with mages now because it's been a few decades and technomancers are the new hotness as far as someone to be frightened by and suspicious of.

On a more practical level: Geek the mage is wisdom as old as the shadows. All the spirit summoning and spell slinging is impressive and frightening and dangerous, but so is every professional combatant in the room turning their rifles on you at once. If it can kill a jedi, it can kill you.

And all of that is before you get to the professional wizards on corp payroll. Since mages are rare, corps love to have them working security. They create wards, they summon spirits, they throw spells, and they've got corporate resources to back them. You think Bill the corpmage goes out hunting his own reagents and dealing with dodgy talismongres in the barrens? No. He fills out a requisition form and they're brought to him.

And security magicians isn't just for the megas protecting against shadowrunners. If there's gangers in your street throwing spells at each other or you've got an astral stalker, hit that PANICBUTTON(tm) and the Bronze will bring a corpmage to you.

Mages don't rule the world because dragons do because they're already a contained threat.

prismite

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« Reply #16 on: (15:47:29/07-13-18) »
At my table cyber'd up Trolls kept steam rolling many of the challenges set for the group, making light work of even some CorpSec. Once they realized their abilities they started being seriously rebellious and terroristic in their actions.

We created a level of HTR one step higher ... H.U.R.T ... Heavy Urban Response Team. They are literally the most dangerous thing the cops can do to you. If HURT is called in to a situation it means that any hope of ending the situation peacefully have been extinguished and whatever is causing the problem must die. There is no negotiation.

Every HURT team is composed of 4 Heavies with minimal remaining essence, light-to-medium military grade armor and heavy weapons, 2 Mages (one of which is astral only) and as many techies as needed for any given situation.

Since their arrival in our games the amount of 'hoodly' moments has plummeted to next to nothing.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #17 on: (16:11:46/07-13-18) »
I designed a PR6 HTR team for Knight Errant. Didn't even need milspec to scare the players. Witnessing them wipe out a Warehouse courtyard in seconds from half a kilometre away while airborne sufficed. The team came with Valkyries and active Alchemical preparations. The Vice Captain was a Force 9 Edge 12 Free Spirit. The Captain a Biosam with half a dozen high Force high hit Quickened Spells. Remember a motto of Shadowrun: there always is a bigger fish.
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prismite

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« Reply #18 on: (16:15:18/07-13-18) »
Remember a motto of Shadowrun: there always is a bigger fish.

This is something that all players should know. It helps prevent those aforementioned hoodly moments.
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Nephilim

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« Reply #19 on: (16:49:04/07-13-18) »
I make sure to mention at all my tables that Shadowrun is a game were fleeing is a virtue. Some of the combats I throw at player will be lethal if they sit there and shoot it out.

Reaver

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« Reply #20 on: (17:09:02/07-13-18) »
I make sure to mention at all my tables that Shadowrun is a game were fleeing is a virtue. Some of the combats I throw at player will be lethal if they sit there and shoot it out.

A better saying is:

"Fair fights are for losers. Not fighting at all is for winners"


As much as combat is the meat and potatoes of most table top games, Combat actually works against the players in the long run of survival.
Combat produces 2 things in ample supply that are the bane of Runners: Enemies and Attention.

If a someone can have their life destroyed by social media today over a comment made 20 years ago, How much of a secret do you think any body count anywhere in the city is? Even the most quiet of combats in the most secure of facilities is going to be known about in a matter of hours.
And with that comes the questions. Now the general public is going to lose interest in about 5 seconds unless it is something spectacular, But those who need to know, will know. (IE: others in the shadows). Leave enough bodies in your wake, and eventually someone in the shadows will decide that you got to go, for any number of reasons.

The other problem of combat for Runners is that even if your leave everyone dead, you have left victims. Victims that could be very powerful, and very much want revenge!
Murdered the entire security team that Ares sent at you, AND the entire accounting department of the 4th floor? Congrats, you just made sure Ares is coming for you!
"Why?" you ask? Well, while Ares does expect Shadow runs against it, (that's just the cost of business in the 6th world) and probably has factored in a couple of "lead poisoning" issues along the way, That is a far cry from having dozens of people murdered! That is not only a huge hit to their pocket books (new hires, training, insurance payouts, loss of productivity, etc), you just hit their Reputation with a giant "HAHA! You can't protect your citizens and workers!" bat. Expect some payback.




A smart Runner team knows when to use force, how much force to use, and when use anything BUT force.   
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mbisber

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« Reply #21 on: (17:23:26/07-13-18) »
3. Bioweapons

FAB strains, awakend plants and certain chriters can really makes a magic users /spirits life miserable.
I've always played stealthy mages, usually backing up the rest of the group with my magic and not taking the lead to blast away. Blasters are too easy to 'geek' IMO.

The way to deal with mages is to make them take the time to think with their actions rather than blast away. Trained critters, especially those with high agility and heightened senses and/or assensing don't cost an arm and a leg. Surprise them!


 

Mirikon

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« Reply #22 on: (00:45:32/07-14-18) »
Mundanes outnumber the Awakened 100:1, this is true. However, that 1 is anyone with the slightest bit of magic. It includes the practically mundanes and latent talents. It includes adepts and mystic adepts as well. It includes mages who are strong enough to cast a spell, but they're pretty much pure academics. The number of mages who could actually be a threat to someone? More like 10000:1.

Now, as for how to deal with a mage? I've found that extreme violence always works. Sniper rifles, assault cannons, explosives, machine guns, or just you and six buddies all using APDS rounds on BF to target the same mage.
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Lorebane24

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« Reply #23 on: (01:30:43/07-14-18) »
In my games, I assume that while the average corpsec guard or cop isn't all that magic-savvy, the potential threat of awakened shadowrunners means that pretty much every guard they run into has had a basic training orientation on dealing with magical threats.  They don't know all the ins and outs, and they aren't going to be able to identify threats, but they have been taught that mages require line of sight to target you, and they will keep this in mind, sticking to cover, taking roundabout paths to flank a mage, and if they capture one (such as in an arrest), they will put a bag over their head to block their line of sight completely.  They will have also been trained that, by and large, spells require concentration to mantain (as opposed to having a set duration), so their training tells them to, when faced with a persistent spell effect, try to avoid it until they can locate the sustaining mage and then disrupt their concentration.

Essentially, there is this whole "magic in the trids" image that leads to a stereotype of everyone who's not a mage being very ignorant of how magic works, and that's by and large probably true, but I figure that some extra information during orientation costs next to nothing, so if someone is likely to run across magical threats in their line of work, these are probably a couple of mundane countermeasures they'd be familiar with.
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Reaver

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« Reply #24 on: (02:06:51/07-14-18) »
Also, be smart about things.

Remember, we are talking about people, even if they wear the tag of NPC. Being an NPC doesn't remove all reason and common sense...

Mages can be scary stuff, but as Mirikon points out (and a side bar in one of the books goes into), the actual number that pose a real threat is on the small side.
Sadly, players often skew that "number" through their choices however:P But that doesn't mean we pull out red army tactics and throw wave after wave of people at a mage to get chewed up...

As mentioned by others, drones, long range attacks, cover, and area effects are the best way to deal with mages.

Lorebane is spot on about flanking movements, and general security knowledge. Other things that security may do when faced with a mage are to use tear gas/smoke grenades. (if they have them in their standard kit, which depends on the company, etc), cover fire to keep the mage pinned down. And if they have them, smart gun systems to shoot around the corners (More to keep the mage AWAY from them, then anything else).


Security responding to a Mage On The Loose (and you better believe its got its own radio code!), would almost always feature magical back up, be that an other mage, an adept, or even a Spirit. From there, it would depend on the situation, but you better believe they are not standing in a row waiting to get nuked down! They would limit their avenues of approach, set up killing fields to cover advancing officers from sniper mage tactics. They would make ample use of smoke/ultrasound sensors (they defeat invisibility spells), as well as as many flashbangs as they can carry (non lethal, no property damage, no risk of dead bystanders, yet effective at AOE room clearing).
Tear gas would be used to flush suspects from areas were an entry could be risky.
Drone use would be extensive and possibly even accompany a security team as the drone could be used to clear a room without exposing a security member to the mage.




No, there are lots of ways to deal with a mage that gets a Superman complex :D
 
 
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Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #25 on: (03:48:26/07-14-18) »
Now, as for how to deal with a mage? I've found that extreme violence always works. Sniper rifles, assault cannons, explosives, machine guns, or just you and six buddies all using APDS rounds on BF to target the same mage.
Sprawl Ops agrees with you. The Ares something Assault Rifle card gives 2 SS dice and 1 Magic die.

And in my campaign finale, the amount of explosives and grenades were enough to scare even my 3 MilSpec Mystics. ;D

Incidentally, I've once had a session where players sent a spirit after a car. In the city. Patrolling Corporate spirits decided to take potshots at the spirit flying by.
« Last Edit: (03:50:47/07-14-18) by Michael Chandra »
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Vaarsuvius

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« Reply #26 on: (16:31:48/07-20-18) »
I would like to adress a specific difficulty mundanes have vs magic, manifested spirits, because of immunity to normal weapons (or whatever it is called exactly) However, immunity is a bit of a misnomer, they simply have hardened armor equal to double their force, and half their force in automatic sucesses in the soak roll if it applies, and the roll for soak is automatically +essence (force).

This really divides into two areas low force spirits, and high force spirits.

Against low force spirits hardened armor is not likely to completely negate damage except against small arms, and shadowrunners won't be using such in this situation in all likelihood. They will have a decent dodge, but nothing exceptional. It's not really an issue, just makes them a bit more tanky than they should be.

High force spirits on the other hand say you send a force 9 spirit vs your party. That means the sob has 18 hardened armor. That's a lot. Or is it? Armor penetration applies here and is your freind. If your gun has say AP2 and you use Apds (or whatever the -4 AP ammo is called) immediately it will have an armor of 12 instead. The defense is around 20? Full auto, now it's around 11. You still probably won't kill it one shot, it will still be a very hard encounter, but if say 3 of you do that, you should come out ahead.

Now very very high force spirits, say force 12, well you will need to go out of your way, but leave it to a few well equipped elites, and it may work out, but expect heavy casualties. You will need to do more or less the same as for high level spirits, but to the max. Remember it is possible to get ~12 AP if you have the money and connections.

Spooky

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« Reply #27 on: (17:07:44/07-20-18) »
Remember it is possible to get ~12 AP if you have the money and connections.

Actually, the highest AP I have come up with is to use a Barrett (-6 AP) with Double Tap (x2 AP, and called shot penalty, but kinda needed in the example) and using APDS (-4 AP) for a total of -16 AP. Expensive, but lethal. If anyone has a higher AP method, please share.
Spooky, what do you do this pass? Shoot him with my thunderstruck gauss rifle. (Rolls)  8 hits. Does that blow his head off?

Mirikon

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« Reply #28 on: (01:17:19/07-21-18) »
Remember it is possible to get ~12 AP if you have the money and connections.

Actually, the highest AP I have come up with is to use a Barrett (-6 AP) with Double Tap (x2 AP, and called shot penalty, but kinda needed in the example) and using APDS (-4 AP) for a total of -16 AP. Expensive, but lethal. If anyone has a higher AP method, please share.
1) Modify the Barret for BF and use a 3-round burst with that called shot. Gets you -22 AP.
2) Thor
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #29 on: (05:27:02/07-21-18) »
Remember it is possible to get ~12 AP if you have the money and connections.

Actually, the highest AP I have come up with is to use a Barrett (-6 AP) with Double Tap (x2 AP, and called shot penalty, but kinda needed in the example) and using APDS (-4 AP) for a total of -16 AP. Expensive, but lethal. If anyone has a higher AP method, please share.
SA Burst with Barrett is 3x-6+-4 for -22. Single bullet is still -10.

@Vaarsuvius: 12 Hardened left and say 9 Body means on average 6+4+3=13 damage soaked. So will be tough since say 20 defense dice becomes 11, 3 net hits for 13 base damage... And your next turn you're out of RC.
« Last Edit: (05:29:33/07-21-18) by Michael Chandra »
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"