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Blight and DMSO

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mbisber

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« on: (03:30:22/02-05-19) »
There is a discussion concerning Blight and DMSO in another forum topic.

I have five Shadowrun 5.0 books, but none seem to define/describe either of these. Would someone be so kind and post what they are, for those of us who would wish to know?

Thanks.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: (09:43:26/02-05-19) »
Facts:
DMSO (Dimethyl sulfoxide) is a drug that's been around forever... iirc it was introduced in 2nd ed's Shadowtech.  Its 5th edition incarnation is given rules in Stolen Souls.

What it does is cause your skin pores to open up and allow injection vector toxins to effectively work as contact vector toxins instead.  Super useful. Basically, DMSO lets you use injection vector toxins like Narcojet in capsule rounds fired from a regular gun instead of having to use an exotic weapon like a dart gun.

Blight is a toxin from the new book Better than Bad. It's an injection toxin that makes the victim temporarily unable to use any magic whatsoever. It's also got a special rule that says when it's mixed with DMSO, it replaces the standard toxin resistance test with a drain test.

Commentary:
Blight is the gold standard for managing a magical subject. Mage masks/mage cuffs are now obsolete. From a GM perspective, adding a clip of DMSO+blight capsule rounds to every rapid response type NPC seems like a logical thing to do. Especially if they *know* a spirit and/or spellcasters are involved in the disturbance.

Hilariously, spirits are explicitly not immune to blight.  Although the way its written, arguably they're only subject to the mix of DMSO+blight and are still potentially immune to "straight" unmixed blight.
« Last Edit: (09:53:40/02-05-19) 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, youre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

mbisber

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« Reply #2 on: (01:34:33/02-06-19) »
Thanks.

What it does is cause your skin pores to open up and allow injection vector toxins to effectively work as contact vector toxins instead. 

Looking at the description from Wikipedia:

"Because of its high boiling point, 189 C (372 F), DMSO evaporates slowly at normal atmospheric pressure. Samples dissolved in DMSO cannot be as easily recovered compared to other solvents, as it is very difficult to remove all traces of DMSO by conventional rotary evaporation. One technique to fully recover samples is removal of the organic solvent by evaporation followed by addition of water (to dissolve DMSO) and cryodesiccation to remove both DMSO and water. Reactions conducted in DMSO are often diluted with water to precipitate or phase-separate products. The relatively high freezing point of DMSO, 18.5 C (65.3 F), means that at, or just below, room temperature it is a solid, which can limit its utility in some chemical processes (e.g. crystallization with cooling)."

So, we are talking application of a solid or liquid DMSO from a melee weapon. A projectile must make 'contact' with a possible victim, not bounce off armor; and a capsule must not break when fired from a weapon if it is to be effective.
 
(CH3)2SO is a relatively large molecule, would diffuse slowly in air, and so would be of limited use as a gas.

Spirits in the Astral Plane would not be affected. Awakened subjects must be perceived, targeted, and then hit, for Blight to work. Sneaky and/or concealed Mages would seem to have to be very unlucky to be affected, it seems to me.

Is there something I'm not understanding?
« Last Edit: (06:25:57/02-06-19) by mbisber »

Marcus

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« Reply #3 on: (06:37:31/02-06-19) »
Yes the system is the system.
In the system, DMSO mixed with any other toxin makes it contact, thus capsule rounds are basically the perfect delivery tool, given runners proclivity to pack pistols and be inhumanly good with them. As far as the system is concerned, this means so long as the target is struck with the capsule round (Net Zero success) and that target isn't wearing chem sealed armor, whatever was in the capsule round will take effect.
 
So DMSO/Blight is pretty serious, now Hobb's point is well taken. Even Immediate effect only goes "off"after the first round of Combat. If you are not aware Shadowrun combat very rarely goes two rounds. most of the time fights are decided between pass two and three or round one. You may clean up in round two, but that's really it. So the point that a mage still has round one even when hit by DMSO/Blight means unless the party has a plan to force that round clock to run out and not actually really engage until round two it not actually a one hit wonder.
« Last Edit: (06:46:54/02-06-19) by Marcus »
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #4 on: (09:44:02/02-06-19) »
...
Spirits in the Astral Plane would not be affected. Awakened subjects must be perceived, targeted, and then hit, for Blight to work. Sneaky and/or concealed Mages would seem to have to be very unlucky to be affected, it seems to me.

Is there something I'm not understanding?

Well, spirits are always immediately identifiable as spirits (SR5 pg 301). But yes they must fail a dodge test and be hit, then fail to completely negate the power of the toxin... so two failed tests later a mundane with blight can effectively neutralize a spirit.  A high force spirit can plausibly resist the toxin with a spent point of its summoner's edge, I suppose. A point of edge AND some luck, most likely.

Yes, a spirit could avoid the hazard by staying in astral space, but then the mundane NPC/PC probably isn't being bothered by it either.

As for mages trying to conceal their status as mages: Remember that perceiving magic is a threshold of 6-F (minimum of 1). So not only do you have to hide all your foci/fetishes/reagents, you have to limit yourself to fairly low force magic if you're trying to not broadcast your status as the Mage.  Honestly, between the delayed effect on toxins in a combat turn context and the cheapness of antidote patches, I wouldn't be worried about blight nerfing a character (beyond making his spirit go away).
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #5 on: (09:52:21/02-06-19) »
Blight antidote patches are currently the #1 commodity in Seattle, Chicago and Neo-Tokyo. Business is booming, as they say. Pressure rising on the producers to include anti-insect toxins that are harmless to anyone that's not a Bug Spirit.
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mbisber

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« Reply #6 on: (13:45:17/02-07-19) »
As for mages trying to conceal their status as mages: Remember that perceiving magic is a threshold of 6-F (minimum of 1). So not only do you have to hide all your foci/fetishes/reagents, you have to limit yourself to fairly low force magic if you're trying to not broadcast your status as the Mage.  Honestly, between the delayed effect on toxins in a combat turn context and the cheapness of antidote patches, I wouldn't be worried about blight nerfing a character (beyond making his spirit go away).
I have responded to this poorly described and devised equation already, which could apply only toward starting and generic Mages, or to careless players.

And, I suppose the application of a real chemical, DMSO, to Shadowrun, could be the creation of a challenged Catalyst organic chemist. Why confuse the issue? Just come up with a contrivance instead.

Would someone kindly Cut and Paste the actual passage(s) on Blight + DMSO from the 5e Supplement? Thanks.

 

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #7 on: (14:49:25/02-07-19) »
DMSO is on pg 188 of Stolen Souls which is a book I only have in hard copy so I'm ill-inclined to type the entire passage. However, the actual crunch of the drug is very short and sweet:

"Any compound mixed with a dose of DMSO is deployable via the Contact vector (see pg 408, SR5)."

The rest of the passage discusses the fictional attributes of the chemical.  I'm not familiar enough with chemistry to know what the real-world effects of DMSO would be, but I never imagined they'd be what the fictional game says they are.  Take it for what it is :)

Blight is from a brand new book, and I'm hesitant to cite the passage in its entirety for fear of running afoul of the mods.  However, the crunch is as follows:

Blight (classified as a toxin)
Vector: Injection, Special
Penetration: 0
Power: 12
Effect: (cut and paste) "Awakened injected with blight lose
their connection to the manasphere for
[12 (Body or Magic, whichever is higher)
hours, minimum 1 hour]. During this
period, the target loses the ability to perform
any task associated with magic. Adept
powers are turned off, spells cannot be
cast, etc."

It also has a passage in its full description that was the source of the conflicting points of view in the other thread:

"When combined with DMSO, blight gains a
contact vector. When an Awakened character is
exposed to this combination of DMSO and blight,
they must make a Drain Resistance test in place of
a Toxin Resistance test vs. the power of the toxin.
Damage taken is treated as Stun Drain. Any spirits
exposed to this combination cannot apply immunity
to normal weapons to the damage dealt by
these weapons."

And even though an asterisk is never used in the blight entry, there's an *'d post-script that explains that dual natured victims injected by the drug also lose -4 dice to all actions.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, youre fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

mbisber

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« Reply #8 on: (20:01:41/02-07-19) »
DMSO is on pg 188 of Stolen Souls which is a book I only have in hard copy so I'm ill-inclined to type the entire passage.

Understandable. And, thanks.

The reason I'd like to see the actual passage is because of poorly written stuff like Perceiving Magic, which has lots of glaring flaws.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #9 on: (02:42:41/02-08-19) »
And lengthy debates as consequence. :'(
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