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Street Wyrd: Wyrd and notable things

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MercilessMing

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« on: <02-23-21/1145:27> »
As I do a second reading through Street Wyrd, there's a number of small things that stick out to me as odd or strange or notable.  Here's some things from the new Spell List.

pg. 30 Diagnose. Number one this should be a Detection spell not a Health spell, and I see that was the case in 5e.  Number two, why does this give such incredible bonuses for no reason?  I can cast it on someone, get 0 hits, have no clue what's wrong with them, and still get an Edge on Biotech and a Wild Die when casting Heal.  Magic superiority alive and well.

pg.37 Foreboding/Disquiet. These spells invent a brand new anchoring/sustaining method.
Quote
If Foreboding or Disquiet is cast within a magic
lodge, and 6 Karma is spent, then the spell is sustained until the lodge is removed, the caster cancels
the spell, or someone actively counters it.
This is neat, and I would have liked to see it made into an official ingredient or show up in other places.

pg 35 Illusion spells are no longer defeated automatically by astral perception, the astral form of the spell is "hidden in the background of the astral" and can't be detected unless an astral perc test beats the net hits of the spell.

pg. 32 Rot is a scary Health spell and one I think would clearly not normally be rules-legal.  It breaks down organic matter which is fine when it's not living or just bugs and worms and things, but you're allowed to use it offensively on living creatures.  Despite the spell's description as turning organic matter to goo and fertilizer, and making flesh and bone in living creatures cease to connect or exist, somehow it does no damage, only inflicts Disabled and Fatigued statuses.  It's a troublesome spell that needs extra explanation, which the author doesn't provide.

pg.33 Treat, which heals status effects, is an example of a well written explanation, I just wanted to point out this paragraph:
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Since there are many status effects, the gamemaster has final say if Treat can remove or reduce a particular status. For example, Treat obviously can’t help a subject with an Immobilized status due to being tied to a bed, but the gamemaster may allow Treat to be effective against the Immobilized status if the subject gained it from, say, falling from a great height or poison.
I feel like typical Shadowrun writing would leave these things unsaid and understood as common knowledge.  These are rulebooks, they should be said.

Realistic Illusions I noticed that even though some illusion spells are marked Realistic, this is not a meaningful distinction.  There are no spells marked Realistic in the CRB, no mechanical difference between Realistic and non realistic illusions, and no spell creation Ingredient for Realistic illusions.

pg. 36 Chaff is the first time I've seen an illusion spell with Limited duration. However, the text is confusing or contradictory.  The jackpoint comment says it's a "fire-and-forget" spell, implying no concentration is needed, but the spell description says "it can be sustained for 1 Combat Round per net hit", implying it does require concentration.  In addition, the spell is resisted by Willpower + Logic, but creates Noise for *any wireless signals* passing through the area equal to net hits.  I have two problems with that: First, it's not clear how to determine net hits for the Noise effect.  Second, this is overreach for an illusion spell.  It's creating real EM interference on devices outside the area of effect.
Edit: Forgot to look up the description of Limited duration in the CRB.  The magician has to concentrate to sustain, invoking the regular penalties.  So the Jackpoint commentary is misleading.

pg. 41 Disregard includes a special way to exclude targets from the spell's area of effect:
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When a magician casts Disregard, they select one subject who will not be affected by the spell and will be ignored by those who are. They can select additional subjects; each one beyond the first increases the Drain Value by 1.
Right here is one of the Amps I was hoping they would make.  +1 Drain for each excluded target.  Dang it Catalyst, you were so close.
« Last Edit: <02-23-21/1215:57> by MercilessMing »

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <02-23-21/1421:47> »
This isn't a book I helped write, but it WAS my first time helping proofing/playtesting a rulebook, so I'm excited about peoples' reactions to it as I still feel invested in the book!  Glad you liked things in it!

Some thoughts on a few of your own thoughts:

Diagnose: I can reconcile it being either Detection or Health.  I don't think either would be incorrect.  But, it has to be only one of the two, and since it segues into effects that are clearly "Health" themed, I think Health is the stronger candidate for this version of the spell.

Foreboding/Disquiet: I'll have to say that while I'm happy you're happy, as en errata team member, I can say that rules that give entirely new precedents give me the heebie jeebies.

Illusion spell auras: I'm happy you're happy, but I don't share your enthusiasm.  I'm on the other side of the fence on this issue: I never saw a problem with illusion spells' astral forms being obviously present on the astral plane.  All an observer can tell is that the astral form is SOME kind of spell... they don't even know that it's an Illusion category spell, much less what specific spell it is.  Not without spending time to assense the astral form, at any rate.  I'm not sure there's any real change in the state of the game with this (arguably) new interpretation, as an astral observer is gonna see your aura anyway even if you're skulking around invisible, they just potentially won't see the spell itself.  And of course if they DO see it, they'll know via the meta that the spell has to be illusion based since there was a roll to see it.  So, it's potentially even harming the caster by giving away free info about the spell w/o an observer having to assense.

Rot: I don't agree it's confusing or ambiguous.  Magic does what it does and doesn't do what it doesn't do.  If you want a spell that does what rot does while doing damage? It'd be a Combat spell, and you can build something to do this along with the statuses it afflicts.  As a Health spell, I can see it just fine as a "debuff" that does no raw damage.   In-universe, why does "turning organic matter into goo" do no damage?  This is how I suspend that disbelief: The spell works best on dead matter... living matter is much more resistant to this destruction and what destruction takes place is handled by the natural body systems.  Still, the damage that does take place is manifested by the statuses that the spell inflicts.  Does this mean you can't use it to turn a living person into goo?  Yes, that's absolutely what I'm saying.  A corpse?  Sure.  A living person? Nope.  Not if I'm your GM.

Realistic vs "lack of realistic tag": I'm not so sure the tag is meant to mean anything in a rigid, mechanical sense. I think it's more for player/GM awareness as to whether the illusion is meant to be mistaken for real.  For spells like Chaos and Agony, it's irrelevant whether the subject knows the sensations are magical illusions or real.  They have real enough mechanics to make the distinction moot.  Likewise for illusions like Hush and Invisibility: the point is to obscure the target so whether the spell is noticed as "realistic" is besides the point as the spell isn't supposed to be noticed at all in the first place.  However, spells like Mask and Phantasm?  Yeah, those probably should be considered to be "realistic", since Street Wyrd is now making that a "thing".

Chaff: I could talk a LOT about Chaff.  Much of what I would say is behind NDA, so all I'll say on that is "you shoulda seen it before".  On how it is now:  Meh.  I didn't get everything I would have liked for them to have done, but I think the final result is "more or less" workable.  As I just mentioned before, illusions like Agony can conjure up effects that are real enough (pain sensations), so an illusion that does to electronics what Agony does to your nervous system seems perfectly reasonable to me.  Yes, the called-out resistance is very odd given the new effect, and may have to still be errata'd. You COULD have affected devices roll Object Resistance in place of Willpower+Logic (and the stated resistance still works for living things that care about Noise, like Technomancers and Glitch Rats, and arguably Deckers too if they paid essence for their matrix-ware). However, if you do that the resulting net hits will most likely end up having very little effect. (1 or 2 points of Noise will rarely be worth casting the spell)  Instead I'd recommend ignoring the defense test and treating the spell just being a flat success test.
(and yes, the jackpoint fluff is still referring to the original version)


One that caught my attention early in:
Astral Window!  Hey, now Neijia from Firing Squad actually can work!
« Last Edit: <02-23-21/1425:33> 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, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #2 on: <02-23-21/1459:10> »
Quote
Realistic vs "lack of realistic tag": I'm not so sure the tag is meant to mean anything in a rigid, mechanical sense. I think it's more for player/GM awareness as to whether the illusion is meant to be mistaken for real.  For spells like Chaos and Agony, it's irrelevant whether the subject knows the sensations are magical illusions or real.  They have real enough mechanics to make the distinction moot.  Likewise for illusions like Hush and Invisibility: the point is to obscure the target so whether the spell is noticed as "realistic" is besides the point as the spell isn't supposed to be noticed at all in the first place.  However, spells like Mask and Phantasm?  Yeah, those probably should be considered to be "realistic", since Street Wyrd is now making that a "thing".
Thing is, it's used as a Label in the same way that single-sense and multi-sense are used.  In 5e, Realistic vs Obvious was explained in the introduction to Illusion Spells in the CRB.  In the 6e CRB you have Single-sense and multi-sense, no realistic vs obvious.  It looks like it was left out of 6e on purpose.
 Street Wyrd doesn't have an explanation for these labels either, so it looks more like 5e copypasta than a conscious decision.  It does have (or should have) ramifications if they want to start including those as formal concepts, because though 5e doesn't have a spell creator, in previous editions Obvious vs Realistic had an effect on Drain.  You can look at the drain code on the 5e spells Entertainment vs Phantasm to see that difference in effect even without a spell creator.  6e should NOT start bringing in that concept, because they didn't support it in the CRB, and didn't support it in their spell creator.  If I wanted to remake the Entertainment spell right now, it would look exactly like Phantasm because there is no drain difference between obvious and realistic illusions.  And that kinda sucks, but they shouldn't start creating those categories by back-door including them in spells.  Some people get the heebie jeebies when entirely new precedents are established that way.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #3 on: <02-23-21/1512:52> »
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Diagnose: I can reconcile it being either Detection or Health.  I don't think either would be incorrect.  But, it has to be only one of the two, and since it segues into effects that are clearly "Health" themed, I think Health is the stronger candidate for this version of the spell.

For me it's so CLEARLY a detection spell.  Its purpose is to provide information about the target. That was my immediate reaction, and the fact that it was a Detection spell in previous editions just reinforces my conclusion for me.  Yes it provides two healing related side effects, but if they wanted to put this in Health category then they should have been the focus of the spell. 

MercilessMing

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« Reply #4 on: <02-23-21/1540:36> »
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Rot: I don't agree it's confusing or ambiguous.  Magic does what it does and doesn't do what it doesn't do.  If you want a spell that does what rot does while doing damage? It'd be a Combat spell, and you can build something to do this along with the statuses it afflicts.  As a Health spell, I can see it just fine as a "debuff" that does no raw damage.   In-universe, why does "turning organic matter into goo" do no damage?  This is how I suspend that disbelief: The spell works best on dead matter... living matter is much more resistant to this destruction and what destruction takes place is handled by the natural body systems.  Still, the damage that does take place is manifested by the statuses that the spell inflicts.  Does this mean you can't use it to turn a living person into goo?  Yes, that's absolutely what I'm saying.  A corpse?  Sure.  A living person? Nope.  Not if I'm your GM.
This, in bold, is the kind of thing that the Rot spell description needs.

Xenon

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« Reply #5 on: <02-23-21/1627:33> »
so active spells no longer have an actual tangible and immediately obvious astral form anymore? interesting...

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <02-23-21/1632:17> »
so active spells no longer have an actual tangible and immediately obvious astral form anymore? interesting...

No, just illusion spells. You have to roll to notice them astrally... still the same as before for other spell astral forms.

Ergo, if you had to roll to notice the spell, it must be illusion.  You already know the category w/o even assessing the astral form.
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.

MercilessMing

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« Reply #7 on: <02-23-21/1741:33> »
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Illusion spell auras: I'm happy you're happy, but I don't share your enthusiasm.  I'm on the other side of the fence on this issue: I never saw a problem with illusion spells' astral forms being obviously present on the astral plane.  All an observer can tell is that the astral form is SOME kind of spell... they don't even know that it's an Illusion category spell, much less what specific spell it is.  Not without spending time to assense the astral form, at any rate.  I'm not sure there's any real change in the state of the game with this (arguably) new interpretation, as an astral observer is gonna see your aura anyway even if you're skulking around invisible, they just potentially won't see the spell itself.  And of course if they DO see it, they'll know via the meta that the spell has to be illusion based since there was a roll to see it.  So, it's potentially even harming the caster by giving away free info about the spell w/o an observer having to assense.
I'm not on the opposite side of the fence on this; I don't know what to think about it yet.  I just know it's a significant change that makes illusions more powerful.  It definitely changes the meta in some ways.  Before, an invisible intruder could be detected by spirits on the lookout for astral entities; now, that intruder is just another mundane aura it's probably not going to report.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #8 on: <02-23-21/1758:34> »
It's an interesting tweak, but I'm not sure it means much beyond invisibility going from "it does the opposite of making you hard to see in astral" to "it *usually* does nothing for or against in astral".

But illusions "working" when the observer is dual natured?  Still a no*.  Invisibility won't hide your aura, Phantasm simply doesn't exist on the astral "hmm, odd. That approaching HTR team just simply doesn't exist on the astral".  And practically, who cares if Agony or Chaos is hard to see on the astral.  I *guess* there's the 2nd order effect of a sustained Agony spell is a harder target to dispell than a health or manipulation debuff. 



* Edit: Actually Mask is functionally improved by this tweak.  But other than that?  Invisibility simply quits being an astral liability (which, admittedly, IS a benefit).
« Last Edit: <02-23-21/1801:28> 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, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #9 on: <02-23-21/2122:10> »
The illusion change I am not sure i like or not. on the one hand it is a buff for magic and it does not need buffs.  On the other hand illusions kind of felt too easily overcome previously almost removing the point of illusions and illusions and other party buffs is kind of what I want the mage doing, I want them to succeed in a support role.

Xenon

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« Reply #10 on: <02-24-21/0217:52> »
Mechanically both stealth and invisibility/silence are opposed by perception. They don't really stack. You often only need to be very good at one of them. In most cases you don't have any use for an illusion spell if you have a really good stealth roll and in most cases you don't have any use for stealth skill if you have a really good illusion roll(s).

Big difference were that illusions had the advantage to let you get in unnoticed even in situations where you would be immediately obvious while using stealth and illusions had the disadvantage of being immediately obvious in situations where there happen to be an astral observer.


This is a buff to Illusion spells for sure. More specifically, infiltrators that are enhanced with various illusion spells (invisibility, silence, mask. ...)

And a nerf to astral observers on the lookout for infiltrators that are enhanced with various illusion spells.

I need to think this over, but first impression I think it make magical enhanced infiltration more interesting.

Sneaking in physical space doesn't really need to worry that much about astral observers (even if enhanced with magic). Which is good for mundane characters.

Astral observers are mostly there to prevent astral infiltrators (projecting magicians, spirits etc).



so active spells no longer have an actual tangible and immediately obvious astral form anymore? interesting...
No, just illusion spells. You have to roll to notice them astrally... still the same as before for other spell astral forms.
So they still have a tangible astral form, 'just' that this actual astral form is not very easy to sense (similar to how regular active spells would be hard to sense if the magician had masking/extended masking metamagics)?

Or does this mean that you can now walk through wards without risk of astral intersection (as the illusion spell doesn't have an actual tangible astral form that will collide with the ward)?
« Last Edit: <02-24-21/0221:03> by Xenon »

MercilessMing

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« Reply #11 on: <02-24-21/0945:35> »
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Illusion spells are hidden within the astral background so they cannot be detected unless an astral
perception test exceeds the net hits of the spell.
This is the text on pg. 35.  I think it's strictly about detection and doesn't affect barrier intersection.

Aria

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« Reply #12 on: <02-24-21/0953:06> »
I agree, the spell is still there it’s just harder to see :)
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MercilessMing

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« Reply #13 on: <02-24-21/1133:03> »

Foreboding/Disquiet: I'll have to say that while I'm happy you're happy, as en errata team member, I can say that rules that give entirely new precedents give me the heebie jeebies.
I started creating the counterpoint to this spell, calling it "Sanctuary" and flipping it to curing/resisting Fear, and it sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole where I now don't like Foreboding at all, and I'm disappointed in how messy the spell domains can be at times.  One, I can't just say "flip that" because if I'm going to cure or provide resistance to Fear, I'm in Health spell territory.  Really this applies to any positive emotion illusion.  And that got me thinking why in the first place are illusions allowed to affect emotions?  Wasn't Control Emotions a staple Manipulation spell forever?  Street Wyrd brings back Mob Mind and Mob Mood, so there you are.  Foreboding broadcasts emotions, and it only takes one net hit to give someone the Frightened status.  That's HUGE.  It belongs in mental manipulation spells, along with any other illusions that directly manipulate emotions.

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #14 on: <02-24-21/1219:18> »
There's not much I can say on a spell being a fuzzy fit for this category or that one... other than it is what it is.   You have decent point about statuses normally being the bailiwick of health spells, but that's purely meta.  A spell that in-universe causes you to experience creepy or unsettling perceptions... in my book that's Illusion every day of the week and twice on Mondays.  Never mind that the rules effect of the spell is bestowing a status!  So I'm fine with the meta boundaries being muddied by an illusion stepping on health toes.

On the topic of:
... it only takes one net hit to give someone the Frightened status.  That's HUGE.


Respectfully, I disagree about that being huge.  Now, granted, on one hand 1 net hit is giving you a penalty that Chaos would require 4 net hits to inflict.  But there's a big BUT.  Troll sized.  Frightened's -4 dice only applies against the source of the status, not universally as does Chaos/Agony/etc.  If you're sick of shadowrunners being on your lawn and you lock down Foreboding on it, the shadowrunners only suffer -4 dice vs your lawn.  Or whatever has the spell.  It's really a roleplaying consideration, as the lawn isn't gonna attack you and if you do attack the lawn for whatever reason, it doesn't roll back so who cares if you lose 4 dice.  What MATTERS is whether you get Panicked, and that requires a lot more net hits.

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(Foreboding) belongs in mental manipulation spells, along with any other illusions that directly manipulate emotions.

mmm, I can see your point.  But it comes down to does the spell cause an emotion directly, or is the emotion the natural consequence of the sensory input (consider rooms 'feeling' hot or cool solely due to the color of the walls...).  I happen to opine that Illusion is the better categorical fit, but in the case of Illusion vs Mental Manipulation I agree that's a very fuzzy distinction.



« Last Edit: <02-24-21/1228:05> 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, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.