The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    Ouch. Do you, like, hate yourself or something?
    Sometimes I wonder. I really like classless, level-less systems, and I really like how magic works in Shadowrun as opposed to D&D/Pathfinder, so... I probably could have found a fantasy system that does that instead of retooling my favorite cyberpunk game. >__>

    Quote Originally Posted by Telwar View Post
    Not bad. They're a little less tough than the behemoth from Howling Shadows, which is roughly their size, but the jotuns would come in groups and honestly those are going to be tough enough as it is.
    I'll have to check out Howling Shadows. Thanks!

    I forgot to add Cold Immunity and Severe Heat Allergy (-4 dice to resist fire damage) to the racial traits - I want to make the players hope the PCs were wearing their brown pants when the encounter the Jotuns, but it should be an encounter with multiple paths to survival/success.
    Last edited by OverdrivePrime; 2017-03-27 at 09:57 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by OverdrivePrime View Post
    Sometimes I wonder. I really like classless, level-less systems, and I really like how magic works in Shadowrun as opposed to D&D/Pathfinder, so... I probably could have found a fantasy system that does that instead of retooling my favorite cyberpunk game. >__>

    I'll have to check out Howling Shadows. Thanks!
    Eh, I hacked SR 4 into a weird west game so I clearly hate myself only slightly less than you do.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I don't think hacking Shadowrun into a fantasy game is THAT unreasonable. I would probably steal a bit from Earthdawn and make being an adept cheap to free, and bring down the cost of being a magician by a like amount, but the 4e framework of "Your skill is your dice, your Force is your maximum number of hits" works pretty well.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Hey guys!

    So, my questions are probably mage 101 but I'm used to playing mundanes, or adepts so it's all new to me.

    Edit: The questions are about 4A.

    1. I read everywhere that indirect elemental spells were not worth it compared to direct spells. On which I agreed, but last game I had to murder a sentry (only one other player showed up, and he was after the other sentry and my influence spell failed) at which point I was thoroughly reminded that net hits added to the drain value of the spell. So, force 7 manabolt with 6 successes meant 9 drain, which I hadn't expected. I have no issue with that. If you want to have someone's head explode you use a gun. Or eat drain. But that got me thinking, there should be a point where having enough spellcasting dice would make indirect combat spells less drainy than direct ones, no?

    Out of chargen a specialized combat mage could get around 18 spellcasting dice without sacrificing too much (wolf mentor spirit + magic 6 + spellcasting 6 + combat spell specialization + quality 2 power focus) and between 10 and 15 resist drain dice (5 in both relevant stats + rank 1 centering + quality 2 centering focus + specific spell fetish) so, if we take average, you'd get 6 hits on your spellcasting and between 3 and 5 hits for drain resistance. Let's compare manabolt and frost. A force 3 spell would incur the same drain value for both (manabolt: 1 base +3hits and 1 base +3 for frost) and for the same 6 boxes of damage. But since the spells work differently, manabolt will see its drain value lowered as enemies succeed their willpower test to resist the damage, meaning it's an average drain 3 for 5 boxes of physical damage. Frost's drain value will remain unchanged, but its damage will be resisted, first with reaction which has a way higher chance of being higher than 3 against most enemies, then with body which again tends to be higher than willpower and half impact armor, since for now our poor unwilling test subject has the stats of a lone star, let's go with their armor, for another box of damage shaved off (unless I missed the spell armor penetration rule somewhere, which is a very real possibility). So we end up with 3 boxes of damage for a drain of 4 for frost, and it wouldn't be that surprising, probability-wise for there to be only two boxes of damage.

    Let's keep hitting lone stars but up the force of the spell: Manabolt force 7 Vs Frost force 7. Now manabolt has a drain value of 9 (3 base + 6 hits) and Frost has a drain value of 6 (3 base + 3), both should do the same 13 boxes of damage. Again, Manabolt will lose 1 box of damage but that will also knock 1 off the drain value, while frost will lose 3 to 4 damage and keep the same drain value. Meaning manabolt ends up with a drain value of 8 for 12 boxes of damage, while Frost gets a drain value of 6 for 9-10 damage, which will be further lowered by better enemies.

    So to answer my own question, it seems that no matter what, direct combat spells will always overpower indirect combat spells. Also, is it possible to limit your spellcasting net hits? Like, if I roll 6 successes on a force 11 manabolt, can I say "I will keep only one net hit") then the victim opposes the spell and any hits left over are lowered to 1? For a whooping 12 damage and drain 6? Is that legit?

    2. Did I miss something or is Ignite utterly useless? It does very limited damage, takes a long, long, long time to go off and needs me to cast it to a rather high force to affect items?

    3. Is there an official confirmation that I can manifest a physical barrior horizontally or at an angle, making ramps, slides for children, bridges, and flipping cars over?

    4. Is a bit complicated and I didn't expect to spend so much time on 1. so it will be coming later. But basically it's about avoiding being too overbearing as a mage, my examples of terrible, terrible shadowrun games came from the mage doing things and the rest of us just sitting back and waiting.

    Anyway, thanks for reading that far!
    Last edited by Alberic Strein; 2017-04-11 at 03:40 AM. Reason: Being stupid.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic Strein View Post
    1. I read everywhere that indirect elemental spells were not worth it compared to direct spells. On which I agreed, but last game I had to murder a sentry (only one other player showed up, and he was after the other sentry and my influence spell failed) at which point I was thoroughly reminded that net hits added to the drain value of the spell. So, force 7 manabolt with 6 successes meant 9 drain, which I hadn't expected. I have no issue with that. If you want to have someone's head explode you use a gun. Or eat drain. But that got me thinking, there should be a point where having enough spellcasting dice would make indirect combat spells less drainy than direct ones, no?
    If I remember the rules for 4A spellcasting, every net hit on a Direct spell increases the drain by +1, but Indirect spells do not have the increased drain. It's been some time since I played, but I seem to remember that Direct spells are more efficient for reliable damage against heavily armored targets, while Indirect spells are better when used against lightly or unarmored (and if you want to overcast something, indirect might not kill you so quickly with the slower-scaling drain).

    There's always some luck involved though. Even if targets have a bigger dice pool to work with for soaking damage by an Indirect spell, they could still flub it. I've accidentally killed targets with stun spells because their armor failed to soak any hits. ^^;


    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic Strein View Post
    2. Did I miss something or is Ignite utterly useless? It does very limited damage, takes a long, long, long time to go off and needs me to cast it to a rather high force to affect items?
    If you need to light something, I recommend Magic Fingers and a zippo.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic Strein View Post
    3. Is there an official confirmation that I can manifest a physical barrior horizontally or at an angle, making ramps, slides for children, bridges, and flipping cars over?
    Hmm. I think this is going to depend on your GM. Personally, I've interpreted it as the spell only creates vertical barriers (or domes in some cases), but I've allowed spellcasters to research a new spell for a horizontal floor/ramp version of the barrier.


    Quote Originally Posted by Alberic Strein View Post
    4. Is a bit complicated and I didn't expect to spend so much time on 1. so it will be coming later. But basically it's about avoiding being too overbearing as a mage, my examples of terrible, terrible shadowrun games came from the mage doing things and the rest of us just sitting back and waiting.
    When I mage, I tend to focus on buffing my teammates so they can do things better. I don't like to take the spotlight because smart opponents know to frag the mage first. Then again, I tend to lean a bit more toward the mirror shades style.
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  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    2E Availability:
    Quote Originally Posted by SR II p184 under Availability
    For this Acquisition test, the gamemaster rolls a number of dice equal to either the source's relevant Special Skill (such as the fixer's "Equipment Acquisition" Skill) or the standard Etiquette Skill (Street, Corporate, and so on), adding +2, against the first value of the Availability Code, which serves as the target number.
    Does the +2 increase the dice rolled for the Etiquette Skill, or to all searches?
    Do you use the PC's Etiquette skills, or the source's Etiquette skill?
    If it's the source's Etiquette skill, is there any way to spend karma to increase your contact's Etiquette or Special Skills to make it easier to find rare equipment?
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    2E Availability:

    Does the +2 increase the dice rolled for the Etiquette Skill, or to all searches?
    Do you use the PC's Etiquette skills, or the source's Etiquette skill?
    If it's the source's Etiquette skill, is there any way to spend karma to increase your contact's Etiquette or Special Skills to make it easier to find rare equipment?
    Good lord, that is a horribly written rule.

    I would say that the best reading of that is that you roll ((Skill)+2) dice against the availability. So, if I have Corp Etiquette 3, I roll 5 dice against availaiblity. If I'm relying on my Fixer's Equipment Acquisition skill of 5, he rolls 7 dice.
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  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Good lord, that is a horribly written rule.
    ...and yet you're not surprised, because it's Shadowrun a tabletop rpg.

    I would say that the best reading of that is that you roll ((Skill)+2) dice against the availability. So, if I have Corp Etiquette 3, I roll 5 dice against availaiblity. If I'm relying on my Fixer's Equipment Acquisition skill of 5, he rolls 7 dice.
    I agree, though my initial first parse was it was adding to the target number, but then I realized that made no sense at all. So, ((skill)+2) dice.

  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    That moment when you realize you forgot to take Hardware on your B&E Demo-man. And so can't actually open up maglocks to get at their innards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AvatarZero View Post
    I like the "hobo" in there.
    "Hey, you just got 10000gp! You going to buy a fully staffed mansion or something?"
    "Nah, I'll upgrade my +2 sword to a +3 sword and sleep in my cloak."

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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    ... Did you really just say that you know Demolitions but you can't open a thing up?

    I mean, never mind getting into its innards, you can have its innards all over the landscape. You can be among the lock.

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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimers View Post
    ... Did you really just say that you know Demolitions but you can't open a thing up?

    I mean, never mind getting into its innards, you can have its innards all over the landscape. You can be among the lock.

    And once again, Sgt. Schlock shows the way.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I was going to comment about the noise of opening locks via the Demo skill, but it occurs to me that no sane security officer is going to want to move toward the sounds of something exploding.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    I was going to comment about the noise of opening locks via the Demo skill, but it occurs to me that no sane security officer is going to want to move toward the sounds of something exploding.
    Well, not until back-up arrives. That's when the men with guns and german shepherds barghests arrive.

    Best to hold off on the loud noises until you're on your way out.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    I was going to comment about the noise of opening locks via the Demo skill, but it occurs to me that no sane security officer is going to want to move toward the sounds of something exploding.
    Ah, old memories...

    We were trying to infiltrate one of our guys into an industrial compound to get water samples from some equipment. We wanted a distraction to help our physAd in and another to help him out. Naturally we decided on explosions. Our guy was near a couple of guards when one of the explosions went off, and they didn't move.

    "What were those changes to our health care plan last month?"

    He still got away. They pulled out their phones to check the health plan.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    Well, not until back-up arrives. That's when the men with guns and german shepherds barghests arrive.
    One of the best distractions I helped create on a run to collect specific paydata, was calling in a bomb threat to the building across the street from the target building we needed to break into. The target building had better security, so we broke into the building across the street and planted a mysterious package that looked like it could be a bomb (it was a bomb, because the rigger demanded authenticity, but it was not armed, because the shaman demanded sanity). Us Runners dressed up as cops and helped evac the target building. It worked, as no one really questions the police when there are a dozen legitimate emergency vehicles pulling up to your street. Those knowledge skills came in handy too, as we had skills in police procedures, medical evac, terrorist negotiations, etc. from half the party being former Lonestar or DocWagon.

    Was one of those rare runs that just went near flawless.


    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    He still got away. They pulled out their phones to check the health plan.
    Pffft haha! That's GMing right in my opinion. Making your security personnel seem like real people with real concerns about themselves.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    So, security hounds. Torath mentioning Barghests had me thinking about what security hounds DO get used.

    What all have y'all seen, in official and unofficial sources?
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I remember one run where the Mage doing an Astral recon pocked his head into a room and nearly got it bitten off by a Hellhound (Paranormal Animals of North America p82)
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I remember one run where the Mage doing an Astral recon pocked his head into a room and nearly got it bitten off by a Hellhound (Paranormal Animals of North America p82)
    Another adventure had a basilisk, a cockatrice, and two griffons for on-site security. Another one just had regular guard dogs (with troll handlers).
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I don't think my players had ever faced anything more terrifying than a trained rottweiler.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I was never that convinced by the idea of security hounds in Shadowrun. Sensors can tell intruders are coming better than animal senses and automatic guns can do more damage. The only thing Critters can do that tech. can't is spot Astral intruders and Spirits are better for that ( though harder to get and maintain)

    Another adventure had a basilisk, a cockatrice, and two griffons for on-site security.
    Is that 'Mercurial' ? I remember dealing with the basilik and the cockatrice but not the griffon
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2017-05-08 at 05:03 PM.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    I was never that convinced by the idea of security hounds in Shadowrun. Sensors can tell intruders are coming better than animal senses and automatic guns can do more damage. The only thing Critters can do that tech. can't is spot Astral intruders and Spirits are better for that ( though harder to get and maintain)
    A security dog or para-critter might be a neat 'low tech' option to trip up some Runner teams that only planned for hacking sensors.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Is that 'Mercurial' ? I remember dealing with the basilisk and the cockatrice but not the griffon
    That was the one. The griffons were on the top floor. No mention was made of their bedding, though. I assumed their nests were in the gym.

    That just occurred to me as a way to infiltrate the place. Intercept the next meat delivery truck, and replace the personnel. Head up the service elevator, and start shooting when the doors open. My group's decker set up shop in the mainframe, spoofed the cameras and unlocked the doors while the rest of the team stealthed in, taking out all the guards on the first floor (heavy use of narcojet pistols), then took the service elevator up while the decker sent up the other elevators (to draw the guards away from the service elevator) and kept the opposition decker from stopping the elevators.

    Do you remember how your group got in?

    I agree with Digo; live animals can't be hacked the way security systems can be. It just adds one more layer to the security around a place. Unless the security mage is paying astral attention, his astral spirits can be killed/banished without notice. And if he needs to be astrally projecting to keep tabs on his astral watchers, why bother? Para-critters can also be taken out from astral space, but their handlers will probably notice when they suddenly drop.

    Anyone ever research an Invisibility spell that works in the Infrared? It's really just expanding the spectrum of blocked light.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    A security dog or para-critter might be a neat 'low tech' option to trip up some Runner teams that only planned for hacking sensors.
    And it gives you the anti-magic protection.

    Consider that, if you've got a few dog-handling teams out there... a couple guys, a couple hellhounds... you've got roving anti-spirit assets that don't require a mage. Mages are expensive. Every mage you hire is six figures a year, at least. Security guards who are good with dogs? They're a lot cheaper, and a lot less likely to leave you for a better offer, because no one is offering better. You hire yourself some dog teams and you also get armed, mundane security to go with your flame-breathing spirit-killers.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    And it gives you the anti-magic protection.

    Consider that, if you've got a few dog-handling teams out there... a couple guys, a couple hellhounds... you've got roving anti-spirit assets that don't require a mage. Mages are expensive. Every mage you hire is six figures a year, at least. Security guards who are good with dogs? They're a lot cheaper, and a lot less likely to leave you for a better offer, because no one is offering better. You hire yourself some dog teams and you also get armed, mundane security to go with your flame-breathing spirit-killers.
    The joys of creative security.

    On a side note; started with a new group last weekend for SR (5e). Rigger, elf assassin, troll street sam and hacker/face (me). First run is to extract Scientist Joe Snuffy who happens to be dabbling in Cybermancy research and collect all forms of his research (hardcopy and digital, all kept on site of facility...). The only way we found in was to split our party, send the face and the assassin in as inspectors and just let the rigger and troll go ballistic raising hell outside as a distraction. Thus far, the rigger is already down 2 drones and the troll got tagged pretty good.

    The host we are looking for we know we have to get to the basement for of this building in order to access it, where everything juicy is stored. Now we have to try to make our way to the basement amidst the confusion.

    Any suggestions or ideas?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vknight View Post
    GM'ing is like handling a roasting pork shoulder; the adventure is long, fraught with peril, and when done well delicious in its payoff.
    It's best with friends, something to drink (alcohol if you need/want), jokes and a good sense to accept and enjoy everything with one another for the full experience.
    Mistakes get made sometimes, laugh it off, make up, and go kill the monster to take his loot.

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    That was the one. The griffons were on the top floor. No mention was made of their bedding, though. I assumed their nests were in the gym.

    That just occurred to me as a way to infiltrate the place. Intercept the next meat delivery truck, and replace the personnel. Head up the service elevator, and start shooting when the doors open. My group's decker set up shop in the mainframe, spoofed the cameras and unlocked the doors while the rest of the team stealthed in, taking out all the guards on the first floor (heavy use of narcojet pistols), then took the service elevator up while the decker sent up the other elevators (to draw the guards away from the service elevator) and kept the opposition decker from stopping the elevators.

    Do you remember how your group got in?
    I racked my brains and I can't remember how we broke in. Then it occured to me I can't remember because I played that campaign nearly 30 years ago and then I had to go and have a lie down from shock ( and a touch of horror)


    Re; paranatural critters I remember there being too problems with them. One it costs a lot to train them so they don't burn down your building accidentally and the other being that they are very susceptible (if dual natured) to Mages 'grounding' spells down on them from Astral
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Re; paranatural critters I remember there being too problems with them. One it costs a lot to train them so they don't burn down your building accidentally and the other being that they are very susceptible (if dual natured) to Mages 'grounding' spells down on them from Astral
    I got the impression, starting about the Awakenings sourcebook, that the costs and difficulties had gone down significantly since Paranormal Animals of North America. Remember the story about the old lady with a Hellhound? Who gives a little old lady a Hellhound if there's a decent chance they're going to set the city on fire.

    And, I think since 3rd or 4th edition, Grounding Spells from the astral is no longer a thing.
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  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post

    And, I think since 3rd or 4th edition, Grounding Spells from the astral is no longer a thing.
    Its still a thing in 3rd and the section on Astral Perception in my 'I going to properly read it one day' 4th Ed indicates it still is there. 5th I've no idea about
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2017-05-16 at 12:31 PM.
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    I just got a hold of 5th, so I can probably look it up later, if I remember to. Still trying to wrap my head around the changes in hacking (GOD and all that kinda stuff). They way they brought back decks is interesting. Make hackers a bit more special again.
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Its still a thing in 3rd and the section on Astral Perception in my 'I going to properly read it one day' 4th Ed indicates it still is there. 5th I've no idea about
    Are you sure? My 3rd Ed books are boxed up in the back of the attic but I'm very sure "Grounding is dead!" was one of the inofficial taglines of SR3 back in the day.

  30. - Top - End - #90
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    Default Re: General Shadowrun Questions III: Ya like that, Chummer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Delta View Post
    Are you sure? My 3rd Ed books are boxed up in the back of the attic but I'm very sure "Grounding is dead!" was one of the inofficial taglines of SR3 back in the day.
    SR 3rd Ed. p172
    "While using astral perception, you can be affected by things on the astral plane as well. Other astral forms can engage you in astral combat or cast mana spells at you. "
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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