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My understanding of Counterspelling is that it adds a pool of dice to your defence. That means if you try to hit someone with an indirect combat spell she makes a defense test with reaction + intuition + counterspelling assuming Spell defence was declared. The mage has a counterspelling pool equal to her counterspelling ranks and can spend as many dice of this pool to defend as she wishes. Furthermore my understanding of counterspelling direct Spells is that, since there is no defense test, they get added to the damage soak test. I'm not sure about this one since I can't find any rules for counterspelling and direct Spells but since the example on page 295 mentions that it is possible I assume that they get added to the soak test.

Now with an indirect area spell I'm not sure. According to page 283 they work like grenades so the caster has to make a Spellcasting + Magic [Force] (3) Test. So there is no defence test since just like grenades you can't dodge them unless with certain interupt actions from Run & Gun. Would counterspelling be rolled against the attack and decrease the amount of net hits and might cause scatter or would it be added to the soak similar to direct spells?

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If it's an indirect spell, the player who is counterspelling gets to add their remaining counterspell dice and select which people this covers. These dice cover the defence test only, and not resisting damage. The idea is that you're trying to prevent the spell from hitting someone. If it hits, it hits.

The example on page 295 spells it out clearly:

...she is targeted by a Manabolt spell, so she decides to use 3 Counterspelling dice to help fend it off. As a result, she adds 3 dice to her Defense Test against the spell...

A second opposing mage then decides to pound Chordae’s team with a Fireball. She decides to use all 4 of her remaining dice to defend against this spell, and she designates herself and every member of her team as people protected by her efforts. That means Chordae and each of her teammates receives a +4 dice pool bonus to their Defense Tests.

Aside

The test mentioned in 283 means it is LIKE grenades. Right before that part it mentions:

The spell then is launched with an Opposed Test that pits the magician’s Spellcasting + Magic [Force] versus the target’s Reaction + Intuition, kind of like shooting a gun (in this case with bullets made of acid, or fire, or something equally unpleasant to be hit by).

People still get a chance to react to the spell, you just use the same scatter rules.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So people do not get a defense test against grenades but against things like Fireball they do get a defense test that might cause scatter? How do I handle scatter then since multiple people get a defense test with probably different results? Furthermore, I know it rarely is good thing to think of this things realistically but, this could lead to a really weird chain of events since one person could dodge a fireball which leads to scatter which then leads to another person standing in the area of effect. Would this person get a defense test as well? What happens with negative net hits? \$\endgroup\$ – Antrix Jul 25 '15 at 13:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ To be honest, this sounds like a separate question from the one you asked, so it might be better off if you ask a new one. I don't see one on the site, and I think it would be a good one to ask. I can answer it, I just don't think it applies to the counterspelling question. \$\endgroup\$ – Codeacula Jul 25 '15 at 14:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah you are probably right. I will wait a day with it because maybe there is something we both missed that someone else has spotted. \$\endgroup\$ – Antrix Jul 25 '15 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ I have opened another question adressing the questions that arose from you answer. I would appreciate your input. How do defense test against indirect area of effect spells work? \$\endgroup\$ – Antrix Jul 27 '15 at 15:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure thing. I will get to it later :) \$\endgroup\$ – Codeacula Jul 27 '15 at 15:38

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