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  • Summon Ally and mundane equipment

    If a Mage uses Summon Ally (SWADE pg 169) and summons a Mirror Self it apppears with mundane equipment. If the mage had a vest of grenades or explosives would the construct appear with the same explosiives? I'm thinking of a suicide attack scenario. I just want to make sure the intricate yet mundane equipment will appear. (Saves on the cost of explosives. The magically created explosives explode, leaving the original material behind.

    Is this allowable with RAW?

  • #2
    Yup! Grenades with a Mirror Self ally are really, really dangerous.

    Comment


    • #3
      By RAW? Yes.

      But in the interest of discussion, the GM should aways use their own judgment when making that call. The power simply says, "...it has identical mundane equipment (no magical qualities, disappears when the power expires)..." but doesn't give any limits on size or weight of that gear. If a caster were inside a tank, does the mirror self also have a tank? Are you going to argue that tanks aren't "mundane"? Likewise, the caster who slings several bandoliers of grenades over his shoulder just prior to casting the spell is obviously trying to game the rules, and a GM would need to decide how they want to handle that situation. A good rule-of-thumb would be: the gear needs to have a personal connection to the caster (i.e., "these are my grenades", not "these are just some grenades I picked up").

      Going back to the tank... another interpretation might be to rule the tank does appear, but only as an extension of the summoned ally. So if the tank gets Wounded, the summoned ally is also Wounded.
      ___________

      The idea of using the summoned ally on a "suicide run" ties in with some other issues I have with the wording of the summon ally power. Namely, those are: tagging everything as a Construct, and saying they have "no personality, creativity, or emotions." But discussing these might be beyond the scope of the thread.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have to admit I always figured personal gear was what was worn or carried. A caster inside a tank would have the summoned ally apear beside them inside the tank, not sitting inside another tank, I think there is an inflation of what gear might constitute.

        The bandoliers of grenades, or s suicide vest is a different matter. They are mundane, ie not magical under the rules, and can be carried or worn by the caster. The issue then becomes twofold. Is it a litle iffy to allow a caster to prep such a vest, or carry bandoliers of grenades and send in a construct to perform a suicide mission.
        In a sci fi game the same effect can be made with drones carrying explosives for a powerful attack. No cost savings by magically creating the explosives.
        Will magically created explosives explode? In a game with gunpowder, would a construct with a gun be able to shoot? Will the grenades explode?

        As for the construct tagging, that is the direction I was going. There seems to be something a little freaky about copying yourself to send in a copy on a suicide run. The construct tag may alleviate some of that, but why?

        Is it any better to summon a lower level construct, hand it the badolier of bombs and send it running into the enemy? Is that morally worse than throwing the grenades? This is all part of the scenario I am prepping. The conversations about morality have resulted in the most memorable moments around the gaming table.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yeah, I'm not sure why Deskepticon is pretending that a vehicle is in the same category as body armor or grenades.

          Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
          The bandoliers of grenades, or s suicide vest is a different matter. They are mundane, ie not magical under the rules, and can be carried or worn by the caster. The issue then becomes twofold. Is it a litle iffy to allow a caster to prep such a vest, or carry bandoliers of grenades and send in a construct to perform a suicide mission.
          As a proponent of detonating a character's worn / carried explosives when the character doesn't want them to explode (via called shots, powers, and my own explosions), I approve of player characters wearing suicide vests.

          Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
          Will magically created explosives explode? In a game with gunpowder, would a construct with a gun be able to shoot? Will the grenades explode?
          By the core rules, yes. A specific setting might have a different take on that, though I will note that these copied explosives usually don't last longer than 30 seconds.

          Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
          Is it any better to summon a lower level construct, hand it the badolier of bombs and send it running into the enemy? Is that morally worse than throwing the grenades? This is all part of the scenario I am prepping. The conversations about morality have resulted in the most memorable moments around the gaming table.
          Mechanically, mirror self is superior because the summoned ally appears with their own set of explosives identical to what the caster is carrying.
          Morally, you're deploying explosive drones to kill people. That's generally reprehensible, though circumstances matter. If the drones are also people then it's just awful.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
            Mechanically, mirror self is superior because the summoned ally appears with their own set of explosives identical to what the caster is carrying.
            Morally, you're deploying explosive drones to kill people. That's generally reprehensible, though circumstances matter. If the drones are also people then it's just awful.
            Honestly I saw this post late last night and, couldn't come up with a tactful way to respond. I think you summed it up very well.... I decided to sleep on it and then respond. But still your answer was spot on.


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            • #7
              Under SWADE the summoned ally is a drone that looks like you. As a construct with no personality, creativity or emotions they sounds pretty robotic. This might cause problems in achieving the objective (run inside the bunker and explode the bandolier). If the construct is tackled or blocked how adept will it be at getting past an obstacle? Is it under the command of the caster? Mental command? The range is smarts. The construct can also be made to fly so some control mechanism could be needed.
              So how "icky" is it to use a construct, drone, robot to kill an opponent or blow up a target? Where is the ick factor coming from? That it looks like a person when it happens?

              The Mirror self also has powers and power points. To me this implies some sort of creativity in that casting a spell has to take into account area, distance, range, allies, enemy location, intent and possible outcomes of a spell.

              And changing gears slightly. Assume a 20 point caster who spends 6 points to summon a Mirror Self. Mirror Self has 14 power points. Assume they have the Healing Power. this allows a Caster to Summon a healer with 14 points of Healing for 6 points, plus 1 more point if the Mirror Self needs another 5 rounds to cast more Healing. This saves power points.

              Comment


              • SteelDraco
                SteelDraco commented
                Editing a comment
                Mirror Self is the weirdest of all the allies because it's supposed to be *both* a nonsentient creation and have a Smarts that's just one die type less than the caster. This is weird, so it's mostly up to the GM to figure out how he wants to play the thing, though it should be discussed with the player when they take the power. Summon Ally is explicit in saying that the range is just where the creature can be placed when it's summoned; it can move past that distance after it's been summoned, so you could summon it and then have it move beyond that distance.

                Personally, I think that the Mind Rider modifier is pretty clearly necessary with Mirror Self, especially if you're trying to do anything clever with it like have it infiltrate an enemy position. At that point, you're in the driver's seat, just using the Ally's skills.

            • #8
              Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
              Under SWADE the summoned ally is a drone that looks like you. As a construct with no personality, creativity or emotions they sounds pretty robotic.
              It's important to note that Construct doesn't deny the summoned ally a personality. That's an explicit part of the power. "It has no personality, creativity, or emotions." Constructs can have minds, personalities, hopes, dreams, and memories. They aren't mindless drones.
              Summon Ally creates drones of great capability (Smarts d6 and Spirit d8? Better than many player characters.), just without personalities. They won't crack jokes (unless using Taunt), won't have emotional responses, and won't do something creative without direct orders because they have no personality, emotions, or creativity.

              Range only matters when activating the power, unless the specific power notes otherwise. After the power is activated, the range is irrelevant.
              Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
              And changing gears slightly. Assume a 20 point caster who spends 6 points to summon a Mirror Self. Mirror Self has 14 power points. Assume they have the Healing Power. this allows a Caster to Summon a healer with 14 points of Healing for 6 points, plus 1 more point if the Mirror Self needs another 5 rounds to cast more Healing. This saves power points.
              Eh, the healer is an Extra, with a worse skill die type. The caster would probably do more healing with those 6 PP by just casting healing directly.
              Assuming a base d8 arcane skill, there's a 66.02% chance that the caster would get a success or better on both healing attempts. The summon would get a d6 arcane skill and could roll up to four healing successes, but only has a 6.25% of four successes and a 18.25% of three or more successes; the ally only has a 50% chance of getting two or more successes.

              Extra success rates: d4 - 25%, d6 - 50%, d8 - 62.5%, d10 - 70%, d12 - 75%
              Wild Card success rates: d4 - 62.5%, d6 - 75%, d8 - 81.25%, d10 - 85%, d12 - 87.5%
              I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
                Mechanically, mirror self is superior because the summoned ally appears with their own set of explosives identical to what the caster is carrying.
                Morally, you're deploying explosive drones to kill people. That's generally reprehensible, though circumstances matter. If the drones are also people then it's just awful.
                Yay, we're getting into morality....

                But what is firing Tomahawk missiles if not "deploying explosive drones to kill people"? And is the simple act wrong in all instances?

                Back on topic, I don't see a reason not to allow this tactic. However, as a GM, I might require a process flowchart for the Ally's actions. Lacking creativity, it won't just be able to improvise on the fly when the situation changes.

                Comment


                • SteelDraco
                  SteelDraco commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If you're spending the PP for Mirror Self and using it as a combat drone, you should really spend the extra 1 PP for Mind Rider. Then you drive the thing yourself until it blows up, no flowchart needed.

                • paladin2019
                  paladin2019 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Except that's not what Mind Rider does. It only lets you experience what the Ally does and use it as remote speaker, not control it.

                • SteelDraco
                  SteelDraco commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I mean, the descriptions of SW powers are quite terse, so it is up to interpretation, but if you're sensing through it and talking through it, I think it's pretty clear that you're supposed to be the one in the driver's seat when you use Mind Rider.

              • #10
                Originally posted by Psitraveller View Post
                I have to admit I always figured personal gear was what was worn or carried. A caster inside a tank would have the summoned ally apear beside them inside the tank, not sitting inside another tank, I think there is an inflation of what gear might constitute.
                That is what I was cautioning. The comment about the tank was a warning for GMs to use their own judgment. I don't pretend a tank is anywhere near the same category as body armor or grenades... but because I also dislike stiffling options/Trappings, I presented one way a GM might balance-back such an approach.

                The bandoliers of grenades, or s suicide vest is a different matter. They are mundane, ie not magical under the rules, and can be carried or worn by the caster. The issue then becomes twofold. Is it a litle iffy to allow a caster to prep such a vest, or carry bandoliers of grenades and send in a construct to perform a suicide mission.
                This last sentence sounds like a question, so I'll answer as if it is.

                By the description of summon ally, it is not "iffy" because the ally is a construct devoid of personality or emotion. By RAW, they are tools. Like sending in a rover to detonate a bomb or probe for IEDs. The only thing questionable is the act you are making the summoned ally perform. Using it explode a suicide vest is not much different from sending a Predator drone to launch a Hellfire. But what's the outcome? Did it kill civilians?

                Will magically created explosives explode? In a game with gunpowder, would a construct with a gun be able to shoot? Will the grenades explode?
                I'm unsure if these are retorical questions or not. Were you illustrating a point I'm just missing?

                But to answer: Yes, yes, and yes. Magically crested bombs will explode; magically created guns will shoot.

                As for the construct tagging, that is the direction I was going. There seems to be something a little freaky about copying yourself to send in a copy on a suicide run.
                Well, to be fair, "Mirror Self" is only the name. The Trappings can vary what the power actually creates. It really only mirrors your abilities. It could just be a vaguely humanoid grey mass.

                The construct tag may alleviate some of that, but why?

                Is it any better to summon a lower level construct, hand it the badolier of bombs and send it running into the enemy? Is that morally worse than throwing the grenades? This is all part of the scenario I am prepping. The conversations about morality have resulted in the most memorable moments around the gaming table.
                I'm not sure where the question of morality comes in. As I mentioned above, the description of the power seems to go to great lengths to strip the summoned allies of any humanity, which should remove the need to worry about the ethics of using them as tools. As I alluded to in a previous post, I take a little issue with this, but that's a different topic.

                I do agree, though... discussions on the morality of actions are interesting, and a great way to get players to develop their characters.

                Comment


                • #11
                  Well these constructs have no personality, so does that make it better when they go boom? These Constructs seem to be of the "mere automatons" following the will of their creator. (For the 30 or so seconds they are in existence.

                  As for the Heal example, yeah, it was a throwawy cute example. As an Extra with lower dice the chances are reduced. I just wanted to point out this is the only option of creating something magical that actually increased the caster's pool of points (albeit in an odd and temporary way).

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
                    Yay, we're getting into morality....
                    Blame the OP. Most of his questions have been about the morality of using summon ally as suicide bombers.

                    Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
                    But what is firing Tomahawk missiles if not "deploying explosive drones to kill people"? And is the simple act wrong in all instances?
                    Choosing to ignore the part where I said "context matters"? Great, we'll need to stop talking to each other if we're going to stay within the forum rules.

                    Well these constructs have no personality, so does that make it better when they go boom?
                    They're still being used to kill people. Killing people is generally wrong. Context matters, and killing people can be the least morally wrong choice in some situations. But which situations those are depends upon the system you're using to define moral right and wrong; different systems define those situations differently.
                    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      Wow, lots of interesting comments. Sorry if I stirred stuff up. As Desketicon mentioned the debate of the morality of actions can lead to players getting involved with their characters and the plot.

                      Using a Mirror self to attack a target, or a single person can be as morally justifiable or horrible as the scenario, or the players want to make it.
                      Winding the example back the construct created could be used to supply 30 seconds of ammo in a fight. Everyone grabs a magazine and loads and fires, or throws a grenade, or shoots that magically created rocket. This could be important if the GM is trying to get the group to run out of ammo. A military scenario deep behind enemy lines where supplies are running low. This could be used to save the group.

                      The casting of extra spells can be effective in saving the caster's power points. I used the Healing example, but it could be buffing, maybe Environmental Protection for the group. Will the spell last for an hour if the Consruct has vanished?

                      Cheap casters will of course use the Power to summon a Mirror self, pull money from its pockets and buy the chips from the vending machine before the bill vanishes.

                      Comment


                      • #14
                        The morality debate confounds me, just a bit. Let's work through the issue:

                        1: Killing someone either is or is not immoral based on context--method only matters if it entails some other factor (such as unnecessary pain). Getting the players to consider the morality of their actions is, in and of itself, an interesting idea, but the notion that using a fireball is somehow more moral than using a Construct is a strange one, at best.

                        2: If the Summoned Ally (Mirror Self or otherwise) is to be regarded as a person for the discussion of the morality of using them as a suicide bomber, then you need to go back to the question of whether the spell itself can EVER be moral, since it brings a person into being only to undo them a few moments later. Again, the notion that it's more immoral to have that magically summoned person die in one form or another seems odd to me--if anything, suicide bombing is probably less painful than the usual sword through the gut that brings an end to many Summoned Allies.

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