Astral Sensing Redux

Discussion on game mastering Earthdawn. May contain spoilers; caution is recommended!
Bonhumm
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:25 am

New question but still on the subject of Astral Sight:

All windlings have access to the Astral Sight Talent

Would that mean all windlings ADEPTS have it or ALL windlings? I have troubles with the concept of non-adepts having access to Talents of any kind.

I guess this brings the same question about Versatility for humans. Could a non-adept learn Talents this way? This would seriously screw up the 'you cannot use Versatility to learn a Talent you'll learn later as part of your Discipline' because, in that case, he will not have any Discipline.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:45 am

It might be most accurate to say that all windlings have access to the "Astral Sight" Creature Power, just like Blood Ravens and many other creatures do. The "Astral Sight" Creature Power is exactly like the Talent. In fact the exact words in the book for the blood raven says "Astral Sight, as the talent, Player’s Guide, p. 129.". But the ravens don't have a Talent, they have a Power. So too might non-adept windlings.

Human versatility on the other hand is a different kettle of fish. Non-adepts can't learn versatility talents. I suppose just to be consistent a GM could house-rule that human non-adept NPCs have some slight advantage in learning skills (such as slightly reduced wait times). I mean non-adept trolls get increased Str, and heat sight. So it seems fair to give humans that can't handle talents (as most can't), some small measure of learning skills easier or quicker. But that would not be in the book because the book deals with Adepts, and Adepts can actually use the Versatility talent as listed in the book.

Bonhumm
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Bonhumm » Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:06 am

ChrisDDickey wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:45 am
It might be most accurate to say that all windlings have access to the "Astral Sight" Creature Power, just like Blood Ravens and many other creatures do. The "Astral Sight" Creature Power is exactly like the Talent. In fact the exact words in the book for the blood raven says "Astral Sight, as the talent, Player’s Guide, p. 129.". But the ravens don't have a Talent, they have a Power. So too might non-adept windlings.
But then how does ranking works? Windlings starts with Astral Sight at rank 0 (i.e. cannot use it) and can spend Legend Point to level it just like any other Novice Talents.

So what about non-Adepts? Are they stuck at rank 0 forever (then what's the difference with not having it period?). Otherwise, can a non-Adept even earn (and spend) Legend Points?

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by ChrisDDickey » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:53 pm

Bonhumm wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:06 am
But then how does ranking works?
Can a non-Adept even earn (and spend) Legend Points?
I think you might be reading to much into some things and borrowing trouble. I think you can safely say that all windlings have access to a power that they can have, use, and improve that is used and improved exactly like the Astral Sight Talent, except that the requirements for having, using, and improving it is not to be an Adept, but to be a windling (or Blood Raven, or a cat (yes, a common domesticated house-cat), etc.). Trying to read more into it is just straining at a gnat.

Non-Adepts can learn and spend LP. Mostly they spend them on skills, thought I would guess they could spend them on Attribute Improvements as well. It is reasonable to assume they can also spend them to improve any improvable Creature Powers they have as if the creature power was a Novice Talent (even though the power is not a talent).

Mostly improving NPCs does not come up very often in gameplay, but during character creation the GM might give many thousands of LP worth of skills to an NPC. Note that an NPC might not have earned his (assumed) LP adventuring. He might be a Merchant or Craftsman of note, and achieved a small measure of fame that way.

Astral Sight Creature Power Ranks work exactly as it does with Talents. Non-Adept windlings get it at rank zero, and can spend 100 LP to raise it to rank 1, 200, 300, and 500 to raise it to ranks 2, 3, and 4. Much as they would raise a skill, except slightly cheaper and without any training time. The Astral Sight creature power works exactly as the Talent does. For NPCs, this is simply the GM assigning it a rank, just as he might assign a skill rank in Haggling, Animal Handling, or Throwing Weapons.

Once again, little of this is spelled out in the books, because the books deal with Adepts. Thus changes to NPCs and Creatures are handled solely by GM fiat. You should not take the lack of rules for how a PC can raise a Creature Power as indication that PCs can't raise a power they have. Windling PCs raise Astral Sight exactly as if it was a Novice Talent. Windling Non-Adept NPCs raise it exactly the same way despite the fact that they can not normally raise things that act like talents.

Baravakar
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Baravakar » Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:01 pm

Baravakar:
PG354: Mystic Shock
The spell does not require line of sight and can be cast through any object or surface, including floors and walls, which both magician and target are touching.
Dougansf:

This spell does not need Astral Sense to be cast to hit a target not in line of sight.

Then how do you know where the target is? Since you can't "throw a stone" you still need to perceive them somehow for targeting.
As long as the wizard is aware that the target is touching the same surface Mystic Shock can be cast on it.

For example, the wizard is behind a door. He sees someone moving the handle. The wizard knows someone is holding the other side of the handle, he does not see the target but is aware. That wizard can cast Mystic Shock through the door handle to the target.
Baravakar : ↑
Yes there maybe a wall physically between the wizard and the target but when the wizard has Astral Sense up, their field of perception is everything in a 30 yard radius. There is no physical wall visually between the wizard and the target when the wizard's perception includes both sides of the wall and the front and back of the target.

Dougansf:
The wizard can sense the wall as well, it's still there, the Wizard can simply Sense through it. Objects still provides cover to the target.
This is where the issue lies. The wizard is not sensing though the wall. The wizard can sense the wall is there but his (or her) sense also wraps to all sides of it, not through it.
Baravakar: ↑
People keep ignoring that Astral Sense enhances Astral sight from LoS to a 30 yard radius.
Dougansf:
At no point is that being ignored. Technically it's changing Astral Sight from Rank x 10 yards to 30+ yard radius.
The wizard's astral sensing enchantment from the spell allows him (or her) to see (for the lack of a better word) all things in a 30 yard radius.

P254: Targeting Spells
  • spells travel in an astral arc between the caster and the target
thru astral space not the physical world
  • Any method that makes the magician certain of the target’s location allows the creation of the proper astral arc
  • Material objects between the caster and the target will not prevent a spell from reaching the target unless they block the magician’s line of sight.
This is the key the wall does not block the wizards "line of sight". The wizard is not using sight to know the target's location. He (or she) is using Astral Sense.
  • If the Spellcasting test succeeds any physical manifestation that accompanies the spell avoids physical obstacles to strike the spell’s target.
When the spell is successful it manifests at the target avoiding the physical wall.

The only way for the wall to block the wizard's enhanced astral sense is for it to have a astral counterpart and for that to be true the wall must be living or magical in nature.

Player's Guide Pg 207: Astral Imprints
  • There are two general types of astral imprints: those of inanimate objects, and those of living beings and magical items.
  • Inanimate astral imprints possess form but little substance.
  • Because the astral imprints of inanimate physical objects are insubstantial, astral beings (including Namegivers in astral space) can pass through them.
  • The sensation of passing through the astral imprint of what the character recognizes as solid matter is disconcerting and confusing. Most Namegivers in astral space prefer to walk around imprints of obstacles rather than through them.

A mundane physical wall does not impede the spell traveling thru astral space. A living or magical wall does have an astral imprint vibrant enough to be an issue. But this all comes down to the exact nature of the wall itself. A low stone wall for example, is not an issue. Nor is a wooden building for that matter. A mound of living earth with the target underneath is an issue that block the astral sense entirely.
Dougansf:
Total Cover prevents attacks against PD and MD. Despite the fact that you may hear them just around the corner, and know where they are, the spell still can't bend around the corner (See Bank Shot as the way around this for Archers, or Mystic Shock for Wizards).
For the (dead) wooden building there is no total cover to consider. Spells do not bend around corners....
  • (They) avoid physical obstacles to strike the target

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RazanMG
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by RazanMG » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:33 pm

Anyone can interpret as he wants.

But as intended and clearly stated by devs spells works like this:
1. Need Line of Sight (or touch). Only Mystic Shock is an exception.
2. Not magic and magic objects between caster and target will prevent spells from working if there is no LoS. Only Mystic Shock is an exception.
3. The End

Astral Sense doesn't let you to see (LoS) only to sense magical things. And because you sense it not see it, and need Line of Sight to cast spell, it doesn't let you to cast spell on someone behind wall.

Wizards seeing that someone is touching handle on other side of the door cant cast Mystic Shock if he isn't using Astral Sense (or other possibilities), he needs to be sure about what is touching that handle, maybe its a dog, or a rope. Maybe its a Troll, maybe its self-moving magical door handle.

Spell Pattern is not True Pattern. True Pattern can go in Astral Space thru imprints of not magical (living) things. But Spell Pattern is not True Pattern.

"If the Spellcasting test succeeds any physical manifestation that accompanies the spell avoids physical obstacles to strike the spell’s target", but still needs LoS. That means that small globe of fire that will become Fireball will go thru fishermans net between caster and target.

Baravakar you are making a lot of assumptions that simply don't add up.


I know what is in PG and GMG, and looking at it some interpretations can be made, but its a space for GM to let him decide how it works in his game.
But devs clearly stated how it was intended to work. And it was intended that only 1 spell will go thru solid object, the rest need LoS. And devs stated that word "arc" wasn't best word, it was just a fluff.

Dougansf
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Dougansf » Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:59 pm

Baravakar wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:01 pm

For the (dead) wooden building there is no total cover to consider. Spells do not bend around corners....
  • (They) avoid physical obstacles to strike the target
So, you disagree with the clearly defined rules on page 387 about Cover modifying MD?

Let's try quoting the full text for a second, shall we.
Material objects between the caster and the target will not prevent a spell from reaching the target unless they block the magician's line of sight. Targets receive a bonus to their Mystic Defense for cover to reflect the increased difficulty of targeting them successfully. If the Spelcasting test succeeds any physical manifestation that accompanies the spell avoids physical obstacles to strike the spells target.
The physical manifestation going around objects is the last step of a successful spellcasting test, which is more of a special effect after all the important issues of targeting have been addressed.

The above quote does is not altered by having Astral Sense active. While Astral Arcs can be formed via Astral Sense, the Line of Sight requirement is still in effect (except for Mystic Shock).

Bonhumm
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Bonhumm » Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:13 am

I thank everyone who went through the troubles of answering my original question.

Although I agree with the interpretation that the DEV's seemed to imply in previous posts that:
RazanMG wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:33 pm
1. Need Line of Sight (or touch). Only Mystic Shock is an exception.
2. Not magic and magic objects between caster and target will prevent spells from working if there is no LoS. Only Mystic Shock is an exception.
3. The End

Astral Sense doesn't let you to see (LoS) only to sense magical things. And because you sense it not see it, and need Line of Sight to cast spell, it doesn't let you to cast spell on someone behind wall.
I was still hoping for a clear and definite declaration from them about this. Still I personally agree that this seems to be canon.

What I find a bit disappointing is the reasoning behind this:

- Need a LOS to cast spell? Then why is touching in darkness OK?
- Touching is OK because you are sure of the target's location? Then why am I not sure when sensing them?

Anyway, the GM always have the last word of course but I just wish it had been a bit clearer.

Belenus
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Belenus » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:19 pm

I can understand your urge for discussion here, after all Astral Sense says "A magician may attempt to cast spells on a target that he has astrally sensed, even if he cannot otherwise see the target."
But if Mystic Shock is the only exception, why even bother to mention it in Astral Sense's description?
What else did you mean by it?

Dougansf
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Re: Astral Sensing Redux

Post by Dougansf » Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:23 pm

Because it does allow you to cast at something in total darkness, that is otherwise in LoS.

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