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Questions about Quickening in Missions

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Anatoly Trolling Thunder

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« on: (20:09:37/06-18-18) »
Zdravstvuyte everyone!

First-time caller here, love the show!

I was wondering if there was a consensus on how quickening works in Missions games.  I noted at Origins this week that there were PC's offering to quicken spells on other PC's for 25K nuyen.  I assume the business model of the PC was to quicken spells for cash and then in turn buy more karma.  Works for me, but it raised some questions about hitting the limit for total Karma earned and hitting Prime Runner status too soon.  Our team is focused on fun play at the convention table and roleplaying and don't want to get to that point too soon.

Our team, The Pirates of Piz'zazz, has someone capable of doing quickening and we started talking about the implications for campaign balance.  So my questions are:

1.  Is it possible for a PC to pay the karma cost for a Spellcaster PC to quicken a spell?
2.  As above, but the PC paying a NPC in karma or nuyen?
3.  If a PC pays another to quicken a spell, to which character does the cost get added to the total karma earned?

We're worried about our support mage hitting prime runner status before the rest of the team.

=M=

Michael

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Lormyr

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« Reply #1 on: (20:25:25/06-18-18) »
In short:

1. A PC is allowed to Quicken spells on themselves, as well as other PCs. The PC doing the Quickening must pay all of the Karma costs, however.

2. No PC can receive cash greater than 5,000 nuyen per Mission from another PC. This is in the FAQ.

3. Beginning with Neo-Tokyo, the nuyen to karma rate of exchange is 4,000 to 1. In no case may a PC earn more than 5 additional karma per Mission through this exchange.

So in closing, the Origins folks you speak of did not quit handle the situation by the allowed parameters of the campaign.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #2 on: (04:02:30/06-19-18) »
So it's possible to make a profit but it's only 25%. Check! And you won't be Masked so the spells are visible and dispellable with just 1 net hit. Not to mention you run into the problem of mana barriers you can't see. Better convince them to overcast!

I once designed an npc who paid both initially and upkeep for masked spells. Divine dodge chances and initiative followed. It's nice to make a pseudo-ally that players fear.
« Last Edit: (04:06:02/06-19-18) by Michael Chandra »
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Lormyr

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« Reply #3 on: (08:38:39/06-19-18) »
Mana Barriers can be a real problem if you have more than a couple of Quickened spells, but dispelling them is exceptionally hard. That resist of Magic + Force + Karma spent is really hard to compete with.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: (09:03:05/06-19-18) »
Unless they overcast, can't recall if you can do that in SRM in downtime, it's normally 13 dice and 1 net hit kills the spell. And since spells are dual natured, it would be doable from the astral?
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Lormyr

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« Reply #5 on: (09:15:09/06-19-18) »
No restriction on overcasting at present, just the need to buy hits (which is smart). Low tier PCs this won't make a significant difference, but may make dispelling next to impossible on higher karma ones with high Magic ratings and good drain pools.

evilaustintom

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« Reply #6 on: (17:08:32/06-19-18) »
...So in closing, the Origins folks you speak of did not quit handle the situation by the allowed parameters of the campaign.

That guy doing the quicken thing would have been me.  Hrm.  I ran into folks in 5th edition doing quickening for all sorts of wonky prices during the Chicago seasons, so I thought I'd work it into my character persona and 'sales pitch'.  I even looked over the FAQ to make sure there were no problems.  I guess either the older FAQ didn't have that...or I just missed it.  Either way...there shouldn't be a problem with the folks I buffed.  Just me.  I'll need to figure out how to 'correct' things, if needed.

I may have missed it because it was worked in with the FAQ about a character dumping all his nuyen and retiring...which was definitely not what was going on (or in the spirit of the thing).

In any case...so there seem to be three sections of the FAQ which delve into this section:

Pg 22.

If I Quicken a spell during play, do I buy hits or can I spend Edge and Reagents and roll my skill as normal?

You must buy hits and cannot use Edge or reagents.

(no issues there)

Pg 24.

Can my friends and I pool money to purchase something?

Yes, of course! Just be sure that each of you marks off the appropriate money for the item. However, one person
needs to be the actual owner of the item, and if that person is not present for the game session, then neither is the item.
So carefully consider what you’re going to split the costs on, and who you split it with!

(Well this one seems odd.  I did this in one of the scenarios - got a fancy-shamcy car, which was totally what I was not originally planning for the character, but still kind of cool.  However...I could still get 'paid' for quickening using this method.  However...that seems to be counter to the spirit of the whole thing.)

Pg. 25

Can we trade money or gear between players?

Yes, but only within reason. Giving someone an extra gun, or spotting them an extra 1,000¥ for some gear
because they’re short is no big deal. However, you should not be giving away large, expensive items or large sums of nuyen. This is primarily to prevent abuse in games where someone is just sitting in to play a session or two, so they just dump their gear and money on their teammates at the end of the game since they’re not planning to play that character anymore.

To set a hard limit on this, gamemasters should not allow players to give away more than 5,000¥ worth of cash
and 5,000¥ in gear (using base book value for the gear) per game session.

(Well, that's not totally clear either.  Not allowing players to 'give away' money is different then paying for services.  Like, could you buy another player's cyberdeck?  That's certainly more than 5k.  Also, wouldn't that possibly conflict with the whole 'group buying something, which is owned by one guy' rule?  It looks like the spirit of this whole thing was to avoid the whole 'create a character, dump his stuff, and retire' thing...and that's definitely not happening)

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« Last Edit: (17:13:14/06-19-18) by evilaustintom »
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evilaustintom

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« Reply #7 on: (17:11:41/06-19-18) »
...And you won't be Masked so the spells are visible and dispellable with just 1 net hit. Not to mention you run into the problem of mana barriers you can't see. Better convince them to overcast!...

My spells are extended masked...and overcast, based on the target's request.

I made a little cheat sheet for folks, which lists the basic rules on quickened spells (like what is needed to get through a mana barrier, and the difficulties of if a caster tries to dispel the spell).  The cheat sheet was different from the sheet of 'prices' I made up.

That's right...handouts galore!

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« Last Edit: (17:15:43/06-19-18) by evilaustintom »
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evilaustintom

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« Reply #8 on: (17:26:20/06-19-18) »
Our team, The Pirates of Piz'zazz, has someone capable of doing quickening and we started talking about the implications for campaign balance.  So my questions are:

1.  Is it possible for a PC to pay the karma cost for a Spellcaster PC to quicken a spell?
2.  As above, but the PC paying a NPC in karma or nuyen?
3.  If a PC pays another to quicken a spell, to which character does the cost get added to the total karma earned?

We're worried about our support mage hitting prime runner status before the rest of the team.


A couple of thoughts for y'all's group...

If you wanted a method of payment higher than the 5k, you could always set up a 'payment plan' (such as 5k per game, or whatever y'all decided).  But then again, since the mage in the group is part of your 'crew', he may not care as much about making money on the whole thing.

Also, retirement is not a mandatory thing.  He will certainly outdistance y'all in terms of karma earned in the lifetime...but he can still play with you, even if he's over 150 karma earned in his lifetime.

Two recommendations - he should also pick up extended masking as soon as possible...and probably also pick up flux ASAP (at least for his own spells), to avoid mana barriers.  Also keep in mind - a charisma buff, even if the character is not charisma-focused, will help in getting through wards.  You'll have to the weigh the benefits, though, so that's not always the best option.

Candyman

 
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #9 on: (17:31:45/06-19-18) »
Masked is real hard to validate, since there's a restriction on how many you can Mask. So 'you bought a Quickened spell and the gm signed off on it', sure. But 'the seller has explicitly logged each Masked spell and the GM knows in advance to know how many spells they can still mask in that run, and the current GM can rely on that the #masked was validated properly by the previous GM', not very much.
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Lormyr

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« Reply #10 on: (20:57:21/06-19-18) »
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #11 on: (21:21:46/06-19-18) »
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.

And I'm not sure how can force them to keep paying you installments at subsequent sessions if they decide they don't want to keep paying, either.
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« Reply #12 on: (01:31:42/06-20-18) »
@evilaustintom

5k per Mission is the most you can get. To do more, a payment plan like Michael suggests would be the best idea. That would require you to play with the same folks over multiple tables though.

And I'm not sure how can force them to keep paying you installments at subsequent sessions if they decide they don't want to keep paying, either.

You can't "Force" it.  You could probably dispel it, should they fail to live up to their end of the deal, but the whole things hover much to close to pvp imo.
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Xenon

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« Reply #13 on: (02:18:45/06-20-18) »
Normally there would be risk involved leaving your astral signature on an active links leading straight back to you ... and on multiple runners you just briefly met on a job once a long time ago.

Hooks like this have limited risk in Missions game play (which is why it should probably not be allowed there).

Lormyr

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« Reply #14 on: (09:31:50/06-20-18) »
Personally, if I didn't believe the player could be trusted to live up to their end of the bargain, then I just wouldn't perform the Quickening for them.

I believe that the Chicago Season did a fine job of regulating Quickening. My Prime Runner has something like 20 spells at huge Force Quickened on him. Because of that, there have been numerous times between SIN/Licensing situations, socially acceptable/not situations, mana barriers, need for great subtelty, ect. that I had to choose between be incredibly overt just by being present, or sit in the van for a few. On that particular character, I traded the ability to be subtle and participate in every scene for incredible power.

Now that choice is not for everyone, nor should it be. The important factor is having the option, and appropriate benefits and drawbacks being available for each choice. I had fun with it on that particular character, and I certainly felt the social drawbacks in almost every Mission.