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SRM FAQ 1.3 Discussion

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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #45 on: <02-04-19/1946:40> »
Well, even if blight's not explicitly listed, it's still within the GM's purview to add a clip of capsule rounds loaded with DMSO & blight to some NPC's gear.  So long as the GM isn't violating Wheaton's Law, at least.
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #46 on: <02-05-19/0059:56> »
Also, sure you might not suffer from it in that fight, but it does mean the character is far less useful in the remainder of the run, unless it spans multiple days and the team gets hit early so they know what to prepare for later on... So it's something that risks being a game-breaker.
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #47 on: <02-05-19/0121:32> »
Well, even if blight's not explicitly listed, it's still within the GM's purview to add a clip of capsule rounds loaded with DMSO & blight to some NPC's gear.  So long as the GM isn't violating Wheaton's Law, at least.
...don't know, doing so could be "borderline".
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Marcus

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« Reply #48 on: <02-05-19/0726:48> »
I think it's reasonable. I wouldn't hesitate to do it to help make fights interesting at my table.
 
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #49 on: <02-05-19/1711:26> »
...would likely make some groups abort the mission once their spell/adept support is down, particularly when facing opposing NPC mages/spirits.  Unless you are toting around a Semi Auto Sniper rifle and have a good pool to do a bullseye double tap against a spirit there isn't much mundanes can do to it because of the normal weapons immunity (short of geeking the summoner who now also has a bigger advantage).
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #50 on: <02-05-19/1912:49> »
...would likely make some groups abort the mission once their spell/adept support is down, particularly when facing opposing NPC mages/spirits.  Unless you are toting around a Semi Auto Sniper rifle and have a good pool to do a bullseye double tap against a spirit there isn't much mundanes can do to it because of the normal weapons immunity (short of geeking the summoner who now also has a bigger advantage).

Not only can NPCs use blight.. but so can PCs.  Spirits are no longer boogeymen to mundanes.  Drench it in DMSO+Blight, and it's now nothing but a big ridiculous critter with no magical abilities. Presumably, that means it's no more immune to bullets than Unicorns and Sasquatches are.  Assuming of course, being "cut off from the manasphere" doesn't mean it winks out of existence entirely.

We're now in a game where you don't need a magician or a combat adept around to deal with spirits. Yeah that has implications for NPC guards, but it has even more implications for mundane PCs. When I cackled with glee upthread about blight being legal it wasn't an expression while wearing my GM hat.. it was coming from being on the other side of the GM screen where I play a dart pistol covert ops runner!

To add to the chorus of calls for blight questions: It'll probably be wise to codify what blight does and doesn't do to bug spirits.  People are still playing Chicago campaign afterall and standardization is the goal in SRM.
« Last Edit: <02-05-19/1923:10> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
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Hobbes

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« Reply #51 on: <02-05-19/2153:03> »
I honestly have no idea how Blight works on Spirits or the like:

"Any spirits exposed to this combination cannot apply immunity to normal weapons to the damage dealt by these weapons."

Personally I would have gone with "Blight bypasses a Spirits Immunity to Normal Weapons Power."  Unless the intent was to let capsule rounds be fired at Spirits for damage?

Separation from the Manasphere should be *pop* for a Spirit.  If they can't use powers, they can't use Manifestation, so they're kicked off the physical plane at least.  I struggle with the idea that hanging out on the Astral plane is an option for "Separated from the Manasphere..."  YMMV.

I'd hate to have to adjudicate what the hell this does for Shedim or other possession spirits...


Marcus

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« Reply #52 on: <02-05-19/2302:36> »
...would likely make some groups abort the mission once their spell/adept support is down, particularly when facing opposing NPC mages/spirits.  Unless you are toting around a Semi Auto Sniper rifle and have a good pool to do a bullseye double tap against a spirit there isn't much mundanes can do to it because of the normal weapons immunity (short of geeking the summoner who now also has a bigger advantage).

That may be possible but they would be some pretty light weight runners and deserve all the negative that would have coming for doing so.. A quick stop at your local shaman or alchemist and the effect character could back in action in fairly short order. Blight is a threat in combat, and logistic challenge to over come. But's no reason to back out of run.

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Lormyr

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« Reply #53 on: <02-06-19/0947:46> »
It might just be our local Columbus players (mostly SR vets), or perhaps my primary group's tendency to min-max, but our mundanes have never had anything close to a problem taking out spirits. The hardened armor vs. their attacks typically just affords them a little time to potentially pose a threat. Even the grand finale big bad of Chicago went down before before a second initiative pass, and that was without use of the "extras" present.

I've said something along the following lines before, but I believe most of us can agree that magic is somewhat overwhelmingly good compared to other options. I believe introducing grey mana options was an excellent idea. Blight, not so much. Some protection vs. a strong effect is a good game mechanics choice. Neutralizing archetypes, not so much.

A simple handful of following changes in future editions would go a long ways to making things more balanced, without neutering any archetypes:

1). Foci should not be able to go beyond rating 6, and should be much more expensive in terms of nuyen than they currently are. The primary culprits are centering foci and power foci. Large casting dice pools and large drain dice pools for higher force are the primary reasons magic is devastating in combat.

2). Some sort of maximum number of spells known. Possibly magic attribute x2? Outside of combat, sheer versatility magic affords is incredible, and can neutralize the need for many other archetypes.

3). Mortals should not be able to summon divine beings. Limiting the rating of spirits one can summon to magic attribute -2, with a maximum of force 9 or so, leaves summoning quite useful but cuts away it's overwhelming bite. Our Chicago characters towards the end ran around with force 15+ spirits, and while it was amusing, it was also ludicrous.

4). Magic attribute should have a maximum for mortal magicians, like all other attributes.

Those changes alone would mitigate the need for things like blight, which really won't even stop a player determined to build against it, just prioritize some of their spending.

kyoto kid

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« Reply #54 on: <02-06-19/2004:42> »
...would likely make some groups abort the mission once their spell/adept support is down, particularly when facing opposing NPC mages/spirits.  Unless you are toting around a Semi Auto Sniper rifle and have a good pool to do a bullseye double tap against a spirit there isn't much mundanes can do to it because of the normal weapons immunity (short of geeking the summoner who now also has a bigger advantage).

That may be possible but they would be some pretty light weight runners and deserve all the negative that would have coming for doing so.. A quick stop at your local shaman or alchemist and the effect character could back in action in fairly short order. Blight is a threat in combat, and logistic challenge to over come. But's no reason to back out of run.

...there are a several Chicago missions where if the team doesn't have magical backup they are pretty much hosed. Again, unless as a mundane, you have overwhelming firepower that can overcome a spirit's immunity (and there are some places you won't be toting around a Barrett) runners will go down.

I guess one of my major dislikes is the availability of 8F (meanwhile Gamma-S  is 14F and  Neurostun-X is 14R), crikey a ganger could get his/her hands on the stuff. 
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #55 on: <02-06-19/2051:31> »
It might just be our local Columbus players (mostly SR vets), or perhaps my primary group's tendency to min-max, but our mundanes have never had anything close to a problem taking out spirits. The hardened armor vs. their attacks typically just affords them a little time to potentially pose a threat. Even the grand finale big bad of Chicago went down before before a second initiative pass, and that was without use of the "extras" present.

I've said something along the following lines before, but I believe most of us can agree that magic is somewhat overwhelmingly good compared to other options. I believe introducing grey mana options was an excellent idea. Blight, not so much. Some protection vs. a strong effect is a good game mechanics choice. Neutralizing archetypes, not so much.

A simple handful of following changes in future editions would go a long ways to making things more balanced, without neutering any archetypes:

1). Foci should not be able to go beyond rating 6, and should be much more expensive in terms of nuyen than they currently are. The primary culprits are centering foci and power foci. Large casting dice pools and large drain dice pools for higher force are the primary reasons magic is devastating in combat.

2). Some sort of maximum number of spells known. Possibly magic attribute x2? Outside of combat, sheer versatility magic affords is incredible, and can neutralize the need for many other archetypes.

3). Mortals should not be able to summon divine beings. Limiting the rating of spirits one can summon to magic attribute -2, with a maximum of force 9 or so, leaves summoning quite useful but cuts away it's overwhelming bite. Our Chicago characters towards the end ran around with force 15+ spirits, and while it was amusing, it was also ludicrous.

4). Magic attribute should have a maximum for mortal magicians, like all other attributes.

Those changes alone would mitigate the need for things like blight, which really won't even stop a player determined to build against it, just prioritize some of their spending.
..like to know how that last combat in Season 8 was accomplished without most of the team being decimated, as in the previous mission where we first came in contact with the abomination, a pre edged  Bullseye double tap with a Teracotta Arms sniper rifle (and a great roll at that) was little more than a mosquito bite to it. That's about as powerful a weapon a mundane can employ next to a Barrett as you need to overcome all that hardened armour to even hope to hurt it (Leela had an Ontari Arms launcher loaded with AV rockets and about all that would have done was piss it off more).  Even high force Bug Zapper spells only slowed but didn't stop it.  Our group eventually did find the the "tools" needed and even then it still required burning Edge to get those 4 auto successes to tag it (fortunately we did get it to use up all its edge beforehand).

I do agree that magic is still overpowered (and in some cases broken), though not as bad as 4e or even 3e (however in 3e there was the"control" of magic loss for deadly wounds, or getting hit with any kind of stimulant like a Stim Patch or shot of Jazz from a Super squirt, so the higher your Magic Attribute was [you had to roll above it's value on 2 six sided dice], the easier it was to lose a point).

Spell slingers already have that big target on their backs of "geek the mage first" and often can be (and are) taken down by "conventional" means as they don't usually have high physical attributes. Spirits on the other hand are trouble unless like I mentioned you have a sniper with a good rifle and pool who can do a double tap to exceed the immunity, or an adept with killing hands the Spirit Ram power, or a weapon focus which completely negates spirit armour. 

Blight seems a little like overkill, not as toxic (or illegal) as Fab III but still pretty powerful given the cost and availability.
« Last Edit: <02-06-19/2058:28> by kyoto kid »
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Michael Chandra

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« Reply #56 on: <02-07-19/0232:11> »
..like to know how that last combat in Season 8 was accomplished without most of the team being decimated, as in the previous mission where we first came in contact with the abomination, a pre edged  Bullseye double tap with a Teracotta Arms sniper rifle (and a great roll at that) was little more than a mosquito bite to it. That's about as powerful a weapon a mundane can employ next to a Barrett as you need to overcome all that hardened armour to even hope to hurt it (Leela had an Ontari Arms launcher loaded with AV rockets and about all that would have done was piss it off more).  Even high force Bug Zapper spells only slowed but didn't stop it.  Our group eventually did find the the "tools" needed and even then it still required burning Edge to get those 4 auto successes to tag it (fortunately we did get it to use up all its edge beforehand).
To be fair, that's negating 'only' 16 Immunity of its 20, leaving it 40 dice + 1 autohit to soak 16+ damage, so on average near-15 damage is lost, meaning on average roughly only your net hits are damage. A Barrett would be 34 left for average near-12, so would do 2 damage more. But yeah, holy carp.

Edit: Speaking of, what is the current tally on Chicago's fate? Judging from BTB p24, it lived? Ah, p34 confirms.
« Last Edit: <02-07-19/0256:22> by Michael Chandra »
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kyoto kid

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« Reply #57 on: <02-07-19/0424:25> »
...well it did where I play as our first team and two others managed to do the beastie in one group doing so in a totally in Pink Mohawk style (also burning Edge for the auto hits).  No spoilers for how that transpired but it was a very "colourful" solution. 

If you were on a team that succeeded that character is still active and can run in any remaining CMPs or core missions that they haven't been on  If the city got nuked that character either died (or if they made a certain  "deal" and "got out of Dodge" in time, were automatically retired).

Leela's been pretty much through the entire Chicago core so I moved her to Seattle and just run her in CMPs she hasn't been on as well as special missions (like the April Fools and Prime Runner ones). KK (now called "Chicago Kid") retired to become Becky 99's "right hand" (she had done so much for Becky 99 our group's core GMs allowed her to actually become a member of the Desolation Angels) she also never completed the final arc.  Milicent who ran though all of season 8 which also succeeded (suicidal character considering she is barely over 100 karma)  is still running in the remainder of the Core missions and CMPs she hasn't been on  She just cannot take any contacts that were lost.

We are also rebooting Chicago with new characters (that's where my new Decker Violet is and I still play Wednesday who is also fairly "new").

__________

I played the first season of NT but it really didn't seem to hit it off with me as well as a number of the others of our group.  I have two characters, my Physad (based on the original Kyoto Kid concept from the 1e days who was primarily a blade and athletic adept), and an elf Face with metatype alteration biosculpting.  The downside of season 9 are the heavier restrictions (and the fact every character needs a certain level social graces to get around and sometimes even even get hired), which can really hamstring characters on the CMPs as those take place outside Japan and the oppos are not subject to the same laws/restrictions.  Though not a war zone like the CZ, the threat rating can be a lot tougher as the basic social mores of Japan like "saving face" and Nemawashi mean nothing and characters are not walking tanks, bristling with automatic weapons, or casting boffo combat/mental manipulation spells.   In the CMPs, My adept Snow Lily, comes out more like a ganger than a runner even though she is quite capable in NT. By Face Betsy can fare a little better due to her social skills and she can use pistols (in NT a Narcojet One which is just R legality and she has a decent palming skill) which of course would allow her to pick up a Savalette Guardian or Ares Predator V outside of the country.

This is part of why I went to playing new characters in the Chicago reboot as it feels more "SR" than "1984".
« Last Edit: <02-07-19/0426:57> by kyoto kid »
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Marcus

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« Reply #58 on: <02-07-19/0820:18> »
...would likely make some groups abort the mission once their spell/adept support is down, particularly when facing opposing NPC mages/spirits.  Unless you are toting around a Semi Auto Sniper rifle and have a good pool to do a bullseye double tap against a spirit there isn't much mundanes can do to it because of the normal weapons immunity (short of geeking the summoner who now also has a bigger advantage).

That may be possible but they would be some pretty light weight runners and deserve all the negative that would have coming for doing so.. A quick stop at your local shaman or alchemist and the effect character could back in action in fairly short order. Blight is a threat in combat, and logistic challenge to over come. But's no reason to back out of run.

...there are a several Chicago missions where if the team doesn't have magical backup they are pretty much hosed. Again, unless as a mundane, you have overwhelming firepower that can overcome a spirit's immunity (and there are some places you won't be toting around a Barrett) runners will go down.

I guess one of my major dislikes is the availability of 8F (meanwhile Gamma-S  is 14F and  Neurostun-X is 14R), crikey a ganger could get his/her hands on the stuff.

My Chicago character faced the spirit swarm and final hive rescue, no magic support. Running a cyberleg kicking build and just stomped those bugs. Immunity is tough but a good tech build should be able over come it. As Lore pointed out.
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Lormyr

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« Reply #59 on: <02-07-19/0854:42> »
..like to know how that last combat in Season 8 was accomplished without most of the team being decimated

At that time our team consisted of the following:

Giant Street Samurai (cyberware), just under 500 karma
Minotaur Street Samurai (bioware), just under 600 karma
Elf Adapt (sniper), just under 500 karma
Gnome Technomancer, just under 500 karma
Human Aspected Mage/Face (summoner, with a force 12 spirit ally), just under 500 karma
Human Mystic Adapt, just over 800 karma
Human Mystic Adapt, 1,033 karma (this was my last mission, everything else available had been played)

Due to our karma totals, the GM removed the "extras" from the fight, as well as the normal pre-existing damage on the creature. The big nasty seized the initiative, none of us contested by doing the same, used the multiple attack action pre-edged to make 2 claw attacks. Hit our giant and bounced off his 60-something, heavy hardened milspec wearing, post-edged soak pool. Missed the defensive specced mystic adapt by miles.

Both of the street sams had 6 edge, agility of 8/9 (respectively), heavy weapons 8 with assault canons specs, essence paid smart links, and the diagnostics sprite power running on their gauss rifles from the technomancer (with around 7 hits from the level 10 sprite). Roughly a dice pool of 27 and accuracy in the high teens. If memory serves, they both had fairly average dice rolls with 15ish hits after post edge re-rolling the misses. After the nasty also post-edged misses on its soak roll, it had taken something like 4 damage total from both hits.

The sniper ran agility 11, longarms 9 with spec, improved ability longarms 4, non-essence smartlink, same diagnostics, bulls-eye shot. Dice pool of 30ish, accuracy yes, again fairly average attack roll of 16ish post-edge hits.
After another post-edge soak, it had taken another 4 damage I think.

Now, in fairness, the onslaught of magical attacks that followed are what finished the thing off. Even if it had made it to another initiative pass though, at best the nasty costs one team member a permanent edge to survive, and then gets mowed down since it had no edge remaining to assist in soaking.

Also in fairness, this is not exactly a "standard" example, given the karma totals of the characters present. The point, however, is that there are a lot of ways for the mundanes to get buffed, which help vs. spirits. If we had been running element aura, analyze device, ect. on the street sams as well it would have been a lot worse.