NEWS

S6 Masking and Sustained Spells

  • 20 Replies
  • 264 Views

markelphoenix

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 532
« Reply #15 on: <07-27-20/1317:38> »
Keep in mind that Magic Security is like any other security.  It's main purpose is as a deterrent so it's better if its obvious.  Manifested spirits at the security checks.  AR signs floating around with lists of proscribed magical items and activities.  Folks in pointy hats waiving magic wands at any "weird stuff". 

Magical security shouldn't be a sneaky "gottcha" thing.  It should be as obvious as a chain link fence when possible.

I actually really like that take.

I picture a corp salaryman running up to uniformed corpsec with a "Awakened Security" label next to his name and rank.
"I think I saw something! There was a blur in the air! Come quick!"
« Last Edit: <07-27-20/1325:51> by markelphoenix »

Hobbes

  • *
  • Catalyst Demo Team
  • Prime Runner
  • ***
  • Posts: 2805
« Reply #16 on: <07-27-20/1403:49> »
Yes, that is exactly the sort of thing that would happen.  Something weird or unexplained?  Probably magic, better panic.

markelphoenix

  • *
  • Omae
  • ***
  • Posts: 532
« Reply #17 on: <07-27-20/1530:45> »
Yeah, I'm also not one who subscribes to all spells have visual effects. I get the fluff for spirits, given that they're powerful astral forms a split second from being able to materialize into the physical at a moments notice. Not so much a believer in a wavy mystical shimmer or such bull drek for a health spell occurring in the meat space. I would say that is further supported by the clear deliniation of showy magic and not showy magic, with example of showy magic being a fire ball.

The example of not showy magic and how to spot it was the illusion of a troll riding a vehicle that does not have a troll version on the market. Nothing about shimmery magicalness to it, just a logical observation on what a person knows about what is real versus what they're seeing. Funny part is, what is to say a troll didn't have a custom job done on that vehicle?

Unless the spell explicitly says it has some sort of abnormal visual component (for example, health spells do not), then the only indicator would be if grouchy McGrouch dwarf all of a sudden became more persuasive and charming (Charisma buff), but that in of itself could be explained by many other things (self reflection, personal growth, training, read an inspirational book on how to make friends, etc.).

I don't think there is a need to make sneaky magical stuff 'more noticeable' by mundanes when there isn't really a reason to. Loud magic will be loud to mundanes, quiet magic will be quiet.

Xenon

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 5755
« Reply #18 on: <07-27-20/1646:46> »
If you can or cannot see sustained spells have been a topic we discussed a few times already and we never really came to any conclusions as far as I can recall.


We are in agreement that active magic (such as a sustained or quickened spell, an activated focus, a preparation, a spirit, a dual natured entity, a wholly astral entity etc) is typically immediately obvious and does not require a test for an astral observer (there are a few exceptions, for example sustaining spells while you have the extended masking meta magic).


But SR5 is not very clear on what you can and cannot see from the physical plane.

SR5 mention that most magic is obvious and does not require a test (for example indirect combat spells 'throwing fire from his fingertips' SR5 p. 281 being the subject of manipulation spells such as Control Actions or the glowing effect of the Armor spell SR5 p. 292).

It also mentions that 'any form of magic (conjuring, spellcasting, enchanting, magical lodges, spirits, etc.) changes the world around it' (on the physical plane).

Subtle magic we know for sure that you can spot with a regular perception test (because they are explicit rules or examples) are:
  • An astral form (spirit or projecting magician etc) passing through your aura - chill or tingling sensation, SR5 p. 314
  • Stepping through the astral form of a ward - notice the markings or feel the tingle, SR5 p. 281
  • A magician performing (casting - yes; sustaining - maybe, maybe not) a spell - twitchy fingers, SR5 p. 280
  • Being the subject of a subtle manipulation spell (such as control thoughts) - feeling of dread, SR5 p. 292

Book also mention 'shimmering air' caused by spirits on the astral plane (but book does not present any details here - perhaps they are talking about the ghostly image of manifesting spirits or projecting magicians, perhaps they are talking about adepts with the detect magic adept power that let them sense spirits close by without using astral perception, perhaps anyone can at any time take a matrix perception test with a threshold equal to 6 - force of the spirit to notice the shimmering air it leaves on the physical plane).

This list is to be seen more as examples and is probably not exclusive, but we know for sure that the list above are things you for sure are allowed to notice with a regular perception test. There might or might not be more things you can spot beyond what is listed above (but not less).


SR6 is also a bit unclear on what you can and cannot notice, but it seem as if actually noticing magic is a bit toned down in this edition and you are now looking for things that does not really belong and things that seem to be out of the ordinary rather than tingling sensations, feeling of chill or dread etc. Noticing 'twitchy fingers' when a magician is casting a spell is still explicitly mentioned, but not so much beyond that...
« Last Edit: <07-27-20/1649:30> by Xenon »

Shinobi Killfist

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
« Reply #19 on: <07-28-20/1229:30> »
Yeah, I'm also not one who subscribes to all spells have visual effects. I get the fluff for spirits, given that they're powerful astral forms a split second from being able to materialize into the physical at a moments notice. Not so much a believer in a wavy mystical shimmer or such bull drek for a health spell occurring in the meat space. I would say that is further supported by the clear deliniation of showy magic and not showy magic, with example of showy magic being a fire ball.

The example of not showy magic and how to spot it was the illusion of a troll riding a vehicle that does not have a troll version on the market. Nothing about shimmery magicalness to it, just a logical observation on what a person knows about what is real versus what they're seeing. Funny part is, what is to say a troll didn't have a custom job done on that vehicle?

Unless the spell explicitly says it has some sort of abnormal visual component (for example, health spells do not), then the only indicator would be if grouchy McGrouch dwarf all of a sudden became more persuasive and charming (Charisma buff), but that in of itself could be explained by many other things (self reflection, personal growth, training, read an inspirational book on how to make friends, etc.).

I don't think there is a need to make sneaky magical stuff 'more noticeable' by mundanes when there isn't really a reason to. Loud magic will be loud to mundanes, quiet magic will be quiet.

 I've always gone with, casting the spell is obvious.  The spell once cast may have obvious effects but doesn't scream magic outside maybe the impossible being done.  Under 5e rules illusion spells would not exist because everyone when a person walked by would instantly say hey magic is here, control thoughts as soon as they walk up people would say hey you are under a spell.  I think its clear that is not the intent.  And if you look at the examples they are all people directly touch the magic or see it being cast its not something they notice from afar on a person. 6e went the other route and made magic invisible to all but the most trained observers, so maybe their intent is the other way.

Shinobi Killfist

  • *
  • Prime Runner
  • *****
  • Posts: 2508
« Reply #20 on: <07-28-20/1231:20> »
Are they spells you are sustaining on yourself considered 'part of your aura' for purposes of masking?
No, for an astral observer they will have immediately obvious tangible astral forms of their own, separate from your intangible living aura.


If I Masked my character to look mundane, but was sustaining 3 health spells on myself, would that mean that I look like a mundane who got buffed by a mage friend?
Note that at a quick glance an astral observer can't tell if your intangible living aura belong to a mundane or awakened subject. In a crowd of people there is nothing that distinguish your specific living aura as belonging to an awakened subject compared to all other living auras (this have nothing to do with if you have Masking or not). They need to spend the time to actually observe your specific aura in detail to find out that you are actually awakened (but if they do it will often be quite trivial to find out, unless you have the Masking metamagic that is).


Would this not draw attention and limit the use of Masking?
You use it to pass as a mundane subject if an awakened observer for some reason single out your specific aura. You use it to blend in and to disguise your aura as mundane (perhaps because you are a social infiltrator trying to impersonate a subject that is known to be mundane). Sustaining active magic on yourself would be highly counter productive in this case.

Active magic (such as your three sustained spells) have immediately obvious tangible astral forms of their own. In a crowd of people it doesn't even require a test for an astral observer to single out the subject that have active sustained spells attached to their living aura. It is like you are walking around with drawn weapons in the middle of the day in a public place. It is guaranteed to draw attention. This is also one of the major reasons why you should not walk around with sustained spells 24/7 (and instead sustain them, perhaps by having focused concentration, right before you think you really need them).

Soo, that drawn weapon example confuses me, because wouldn't that make quickening a meaningless metamagic? Why would anyone quicken a spell using karma to make a sustained spell permanent if it's the equivalent of a drawn weapon.

Also, are there any rules or fluff to support that you can point me to?

Optimizers will optimize. If anything IMO the penalties have not been harsh enough in the various editions. If you want to be perma buffed man play a street sam.