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Looking for a good spell to use against Drones and Vehicles (noob)

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Lacklusterbrown

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« on: (13:15:08/02-11-19) »
So yeah, just like it says on the tin: I'm a fairly new player (to SR5 at least), and I'm writing up my first awakened character. The majority of my spells are health spells, manipulation spells, and combat spells focused on non lethal force, but there is a glaring issue: I have nothing that can handle Drones and vehicles. I have one spell left that I can pick as well as the 5 karma to cover the cost, I just don't know what spell to get that will best handle Drones. Would love to hear what advice you chummers have to offer!

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: (13:31:48/02-11-19) »
Lightning Bolt or Lightning Ball.

Electrical damage is always P damage to vehicles & drones.  That's a big deal because they flat out ignore stun damage.
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.

fseperent

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« Reply #2 on: (13:35:41/02-11-19) »
Gravity or Gravity Well from Forbidden Arcana could ground small airborne drones easily enough.
A Destroy spell from Shadow Grimoire  for specific threats.
Maybe Levitate to keep groundcraft from moving.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #3 on: (14:18:35/02-11-19) »
I like lightning bolt for a direct approach, but ice sheet, physical barrier for causing accidents and a more indirect approach.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #4 on: (14:21:26/02-11-19) »
I wouldn't do direct Manipulation, since that faces an OR of 15 dice. So Levitate won't work. Indirect approaches are better, such as forcing a crash test with a Physical Barrier.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

SunRunner

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« Reply #5 on: (14:54:00/02-11-19) »
Pretty much any of the indirect combat spells that deal physical damage will work vs Drones and Vehicles. Lighting and Acid are 2 of the best. Lighting because you inflict half of what ever physical damage you deal as matrix damage which matters vs Big vehicles like City Masters and such that have 8 matrix damage boxes and 20+ physical damage boxes. Acid because of the stacking armor degradation which makes easier for you and your team mates to push damage on future attacks.

As a general rule any decent force 5+ indirect spell that you can land will toast anything but the biggest and most hardened drones. Its only the big vehicles that have been up armoured that will really cause problems.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #6 on: (15:03:40/02-11-19) »
I wouldn't do direct Manipulation, since that faces an OR of 15 dice. So Levitate won't work. Indirect approaches are better, such as forcing a crash test with a Physical Barrier.

Does it?  I know previous editions were explicit on this but some spells create their own test and the barrier in levitate seems to be weight. Other direct manipulation spells explicitly mention the OR test, levitate doesn't.  You could go with the general rule, but I felt the lack of mentioning it was intentional and its resisted by living creatures or just not being able to hit the weight limit. That being said its a huge barrier, you'd have to be absurdly powerful to levitate a vehicle, though i guess you can manage some drones. You'd need like a 30 dice spell casting pool to levitate a car though.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #7 on: (16:16:21/02-11-19) »
The way I see it is OR always applies unless the spell (or spell category) specifies a different kind of resistance test.  Even spells that don't specify any resistance test at all, like Armor.
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.

Michael Chandra

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« Reply #8 on: (16:33:48/02-11-19) »
Since Physical Manipulation 'usually' uses OR, unless it's something that doesn't make sense, I'd keep OR in there. It seems weird to me for Drones to not be able to resist Levitate or Bind.
CorpSec when an alarm is triggered;: "This is so sad, Alexa play Shoot The Runner"

fseperent

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« Reply #9 on: (17:33:54/02-11-19) »
Here's the test for Levitate:
You have to beat a threshold equal to the subject’s mass divided by 200 kilograms,
rounded up.

If you’re trying to levitate an item held by a living being, or levitate an unwilling living being, that being
can defend against the Spellcasting Test with Strength + Body.

Easier to stomach than OR on cars or smaller.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #10 on: (21:28:39/02-11-19) »
Since Physical Manipulation 'usually' uses OR, unless it's something that doesn't make sense, I'd keep OR in there. It seems weird to me for Drones to not be able to resist Levitate or Bind.

Well some spells like bind just don't target attributes they have, so you can't reduce a car or drones agility as it does not have one so I kind of assume its just unaffected.  assuming you use OR you'd be lucky to get 1 hit on tech items so you'd be unable to levitate a 5 KG item, even fairly natural items would have to be in the normal lift range in which case just have the orc/troll lift it don't waste your drain.  The spell is designed to pick crap up and can't do it at a basic level with OR in play. Given that other spells include the OR test in their description, lacking it in levitate to me is indicative that it is not supposed to have a OR test.  Its test is purely weight based.(unless targeting or held bu a person)

Tarislar

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« Reply #11 on: (22:37:55/02-11-19) »
Lightning Bolt or Lightning Ball.

Electrical damage is always P damage to vehicles & drones.  That's a big deal because they flat out ignore stun damage.



I like lightning bolt for a direct approach, but ice sheet, physical barrier for causing accidents and a more indirect approach.




Pretty much any of the indirect combat spells that deal physical damage will work vs Drones and Vehicles. Lighting and Acid are 2 of the best. Lighting because you inflict half of what ever physical damage you deal as matrix damage which matters vs Big vehicles like City Masters and such that have 8 matrix damage boxes and 20+ physical damage boxes. Acid because of the stacking armor degradation which makes easier for you and your team mates to push damage on future attacks.

As a general rule any decent force 5+ indirect spell that you can land will toast anything but the biggest and most hardened drones. Its only the big vehicles that have been up armoured that will really cause problems.


I'll "DITTO" what SSDR, Shinobi, & Sun have all said.

My top choice would be Lightning Bolt/Ball lighting.

The Stun = Physical = Matrix nature of L-Bolt is a very nice feature & I favor Bolt because the lesser drain allows you to pump up the damage higher.

Now, that said,  Ball Lightning has the effect of removing any "dodge" attempt & depending on the target they might be able to pull off more than 5 hits which is the equal to the Thresh Hold for the AE (3) + 2 less force.  Its also going to be more effective if you have a pack of close together drones. 

So,  dealers choice really between the 2.

As stated Acid is also a nice choice too, but I'd favor Lighting a bit more.

It would help to know what your other spells are, but, based on what you've said about being non-lethal & non-combat oriented, I would say a nice AE might be the best option to end carloads of goons in a single shot.

Mirikon

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« Reply #12 on: (22:52:49/02-11-19) »
My 'go to' for blasting drones and vehicles? Indirect combat spells are my preferred, since you're going to do more damage against a Bulldog with Lightning Bolt than Powerbolt. Direct spells, after all, oppose your spellcasting with the vehicle's Body, and only your net hits are damage. So the Bulldog can easily be rolling more dice than you are, whereas the indirect spells have a defense roll, with net hits adding to damage, which are then resisted by the body+armor. That still isn't a great combo, but you use Force as the AP, which can make a big difference.

Trying to shoot a van (especially an armored van) with spells is a dicey proposition. But there are better tricks for mages. Here's my top 10 from just the core book, in no particular order:

1. Physical barrier at an angle to the road, forming a ramp, attempting to either launch the vehicle, tip it over, or otherwise make it crash.
2. Ice Slick in the road to force a Crash Test.
3. Do they have windows open to shoot at you? Fireball INSIDE the vehicle.
4. Illusions. If there is a metahuman driver, they will almost certainly react to a car coming out of nowhere at an intersection, looking like it will hit them.
5. Get a spirit to manifest inside the vehicle and kill the driver.
6. Remove sense (Sight) on the driver.
7. Light, blinding the driver.
8. Ignite on the driver
9. Influence on the driver (jerk the wheel sharply to one side as far as they can)
10. Armor on the vehicle you're driving, when you go to ram.

As you might notice, most of these have to deal with defeating the driver, or forcing a vehicle to make crash tests, rather than actually blasting the vehicle itself. That is because I come to Shadowrun by way of D&D, and any long time D&D player will tell you that you do not challenge a Barbarian's Fort save, a Rogue's Ref save, or a Wizard's Will save. That's just a bad idea all the way around. Instead, you hit a barbarian's Will save, since most of them skimp on mental stats. You go after a Rogue's Fort save, because they don't typically have much in the way of Constitution. You attack the Wizard's Ref save, because there is no way in hell he's got good physical stats.

Don't attack a person's strengths unless you literally have no other choice. Hit them where they're weak.
« Last Edit: (22:54:39/02-11-19) by Mirikon »
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Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #13 on: (23:09:28/02-11-19) »
... any long time D&D player will tell you that you do not challenge a Barbarian's Fort save, a Rogue's Ref save, or a Wizard's Will save. That's just a bad idea all the way around. Instead, you hit a barbarian's Will save, since most of them skimp on mental stats. You go after a Rogue's Fort save, because they don't typically have much in the way of Constitution. You attack the Wizard's Ref save, because there is no way in hell he's got good physical stats.

Don't attack a person's strengths unless you literally have no other choice. Hit them where they're weak.

This is all very true.  Another way to put it is Drones are the Rock to Magic's Scissors.  Generally, using magic to deal with drones is an uphill battle.  The Paper to the Drones' Rock is having your hacker mess with them/the Rigger.

But if you must answer drones with magic, remember that drones (and vehicles) cannot suffer Stun damage.  They literally ignore it.  Being unliving objects they're flat out immune to mana spells.  Since they're drones, they also ignore physical spells that deal stun damage.  Even worse, if they have enough armor to render your Physical damage down to Stun, they STILL ignore your spell because it's turned into Stun damage.  Drones are specifically called out as getting 15 dice on the Object Resistance chart, as well.

That's why Lightning Ball/Bolt is trebly good.  It can reliably (or automatically, in the case of AOE) hit. It WILL force a soak roll as electrical damage is always Physical to drones.  And if they have a ginormous CM for whatever reason, you're simultaneously scoring damage on their tiny Matrix CM's as well.
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.

Tarislar

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« Reply #14 on: (23:28:20/02-11-19) »
Also in the core book IIRC it says people in a vehicle take damage from AE as well as the vehicle.

So even if the vehicle resists, the crew will likely get fried, I forget where I read it but its in there in the Vehicle Combat section IIRC.