4
\$\begingroup\$

I'm pretty new to P&P of any kind. Next round we will fight against a Spirit. We have 1 Mage, Rigger, Hacker, and me the Melee fighter (not Adept).

We know there is an "Air Spirit" in the next fight, and I know it can't be attacked by any physical actions like swords or guns. Does that mean it's basically the Air Spirit vs. our Mage?

What about shock grenades and gas? Would those work or is it up to the GM whether we can attack him with normal attacks or not?

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not exactly an answer to your question thus only a comment. Ingame do you have time to prepare? If so and your mage can do so he should summon a few spirits to help him battle that one. Many mages just overlook the nicety of preparations. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 21, 2016 at 13:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ We have still some time left planning it ( standing infront the mission building ). But we are still pretty low skilled characters so our mage can't summon an own spirit. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2016 at 15:48
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ [Related] Normal weapons immunity......as hardened armor or complete immunity vs normal weapons? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2016 at 18:03

5 Answers 5

3
\$\begingroup\$

Sadly, Spirits are Astral. It could Materialize, but even then it would have Immunity to Normal Weapons (as long as it is materialized).

That immunity can be circumvented in several ways:

This applies to all attacks that are not magical in nature; weapon foci, spells, and adept or critter powers function normally. If the critter also has the Allergy weakness, then the Immunity does not apply against non-magical attacks made using the allergen.

Since you know you're going to encounter a Spirit, perhaps you can:

  • Let the Mage project, so that he can take out the Spirit in Astral combat. You guard his location in the meantime.
  • Hire extra magical muscle (such as an extra Mage, Physical Adept or Shaman)
  • Enhance the weapons of the Physical Adept with a weapon focus
  • Gain more info about the mages used by the target to get a better idea of the type of spirits that you could encounter
  • You could bring serious firepower, in an effort to bypass the hardened armor. But the resulting weapons barrage would trigger a stronger security response as well.

For example, if you're attacked by a Fire spirit inside a compound and the mage yells this out to the team. Any non-magical team member could then:

  • Trigger the sprinkler system
  • Trigger the firealarm (knowning that this triggers the sprinkler system)
  • Just use a nearby fire hose reel station

That's assuming the the mage doesn't need protection while he takes down the spirit from other threats.

\$\endgroup\$
4
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Btw -- setting off the fire alarm should not trigger the sprinklers -- it's the other way 'round in any building that has a hope of complying with fire sprinkler codes. \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Jan 21, 2016 at 12:46
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ It really depends on how you're running the game. In the real world, yes. In films, the alarm frequently activates the sprinklers. As a long-time GM and player (since SR1), I've found that Shadowrun's particular collection of setting tropes lends itself far better to cinematic play than simulationist. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Jan 21, 2016 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @T.J.L. -- there are good reasons not to perpetuate that trope (AFAICT -- tropist views of sprinklers are a significant barrier to further RL penetration; at the very least, they just make extra work for advocates of residential sprinklering). For the fire spirit case, I'd just physically whack the nearest head -- that will set it off, guaranteed (as mechanical violence to sprinkler heads will knock the fusible element out, whether it be RL or the SR verse) \$\endgroup\$
    – Shalvenay
    Jan 22, 2016 at 0:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ By the way, all Fire Spirits (when manifested) have the Energy Aura power. This means they are "surrounded by a field of damaging [fire]" (SR5, p. 396), which affects anything that comes into contact with the spirit. If they manifest in a building with a functioning sprinkler system, it's nearly guaranteed that the sprinkler system will activate unless overridden by something. Also, the fire aura may cause a fair amount of collateral damage. These are both good reasons not to use Fire Spirits for physical security inside buildings. \$\endgroup\$ May 5, 2016 at 8:34
3
\$\begingroup\$

A well-prepared "regular" fighter can actually be more effective than a mage, odd as that may sound. As others mentioned, "Immunity to normal weapons" is kind of a misnomer, and only acts as hardened armor for the spirit against all non-magical attacks.

While many small arms don't do well against that, hardened weapon is very vulnerable to APDS ammo, especially in weapons that start out with a high AP value. Hardened armor automatically reduces the damage done by half its value, but that's after AP is applied.

So, if you give everyone an assault rifle or (optimally) a sniper rifle, and give them APDS, they can reduce the hardened armor by 6-8. A force 6 spirit might end up with 4 hardened armor, which is roughly equivalent to 10 normal armor - well within the norm for most regular enemies.

And like I said, that may end up being more effective than the mage. While the mage doesn't have to deal with armor at all, he'll also tend to have a smaller dice pool and do less base damage compared to your fighters.

Of course, APDS is Forbidden, so that might be a problem to deal with. It might also not be an option for the melee fighter. But there's a cheaper solution in electrical based weapons, which sport a base -5 AP - not quite as effective, but it'll make you relevant.

Lastly, all of this only works if the spirit is materialized. However, that goes both ways - the spirit can't really affect the party either until it materializes.

\$\endgroup\$
5
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This and Thomas E. are the only answers that are actually addressing the problem and staying strictly RaW. Mundanes CAN harm materialized spirits, and spirits in the astral can do very little against people on the physical world. ASPD and Armor Penetration will reduce the Hardened Armor of Spirits and allow them to be killed without the aid of spells, specially if you add Edge to the attack pool. A mage can simply roll his Banish skill using Edge and call it a day though. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 21, 2016 at 19:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShadowKras although as the OP noted in a comment the mage doesnt have summoning spells thus probably also no banish skill thus the mage can only resort to direct damage spells (at least those have no hardened armor to penetrate) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 22, 2016 at 8:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Thomas E. -- I'm not sure if you mean "direct damage spells" in the technical SR5 sense or in the general meaning of the word, but for the record, any damage spell works against spirits and disregards Immunity to Normal Weapons. That includes indirect combat spells. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 22, 2016 at 9:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ exactly meant damage spells per se (sry for the confusion) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 22, 2016 at 9:45
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasE. i know, i said that last line simply to explain that mages (in general) have an easier way to handle spirits. \$\endgroup\$
    – ShadowKras
    Jan 22, 2016 at 10:28
1
\$\begingroup\$

Shadowrunners work in a harsh world, but they do not work alone.

This is typically the kind of situation where you would require the services of a shaman. I'm sure your local "community" has a few of them who would gladly help you in exchange for a stickful of nuyen...

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

As spirits have immunity against normal weapons there is not much you can do. Your best option is to let your mage take on this task and support him in other ways. He can circumvent this immunity. You can of course try to shoot the spirit but the immunity will prevent it from taking smaller amounts of damage and you will need some rather huge damage values to be able to hurt the spirit.

In Shadowrun every character has his own special area. When attacking a host it's similar with the decker. Instead of everyone focussing on the one thing try to assist the one who is doing 'his' thing. Most mages can't stand ground in a physical fight and fight a powerful spirit afterwards (Too much drain). As a team protect your mage when he is doing his mojo. Killing the mage who controls the spirit also helps.

If you don't trust your teammate to deal with the spirit then you might try to get some extra help by finding a alchemist who will sell you a preparation to fight the spirit, but alchemy is kind of weak. Or you might find another (NPC) runner who can deal a lot better with spirits and sells his service for some nuyen.

If your GM is doing his job correctly, he will give everyone in your group something to do. Maybe not at the same time but everyone will/should get his time to shine. This time it's a task best suited for the mage.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Killing the mage who controls the spirit also helps." - Must be the summoner near the spirit? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 21, 2016 at 11:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The summoner doesn't have to be there. Magical security services won't send a dedicated summoner to a site (and risk him getting killed). But if you happen to know the summoner beforehand, that might be a target for your team. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kekse
    Jan 21, 2016 at 15:19
0
\$\begingroup\$

In addition to the possible actions already mentioned in the other answers there are a few additional things you can/could do.

The air spirit has immunity vs. non magical weapons while materialized as others have mentioned already. But this does not mean COMPLETE immunity, but instead it has a hardened armor rating equal to 2x its essence (which is normally the force rating).

This means depending on the force rating of the spirit even as a street sam you could at least chip away at its hit points.

For example (not taking special ammunition into account): Ares Predator (hvy pistol) could work against force 1-3 spirits. A Ruger super warhawk even against a force 4 possibly.

If we take machine pistols,... into account those weapons mostly are useable against force 1-3 spirits.

Assault rifles work good for spirits with force ranks 1-4 and sniper rifles for up to force rank 6 spirits!

An HE granade even can harm rank 7 spirits.

The main point here is they CAN harm the spirit in that they are able to pierce its natural armor. If they do damage then though depends on your rolls. and the defense. But all in all you HAVE chances to do at least something aginst the spirit directly depending on its force, and the materials you have at your disposal.

For all other things........the other answers cover them nicely.

\$\endgroup\$
2
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ahriman are you sure that it is to be interpreted this way? (immunity to age makes sense that there is no effect at all. BUT if we take normal weapons immunity also this way the whole paragraph above about damage reduction is.....ad absurdum....aka it wouldn't make sense at all to even have it there as the only way the armor comes into effect is against weapons). Will create a question there to clear that completely \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 21, 2016 at 15:21
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ To clear that up: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/73504/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Thomas E.
    Jan 21, 2016 at 15:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .