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We are playing SR3 and I as GM have problems with mages and dual-nature beings (like ghouls) because the ghouls are vulnerable from astral, but cannot retaliate in projecting mage is not in their reach. So hunting ghules (or any other dual-nature, non-casting creature) leads to mage project to astral, gto there snipe every such creature, while rest of group just sits and waits for big victory.

It could be nice and fun solution one time, but I do not want to make it regular way of runs, rendering such creatures to just siting ducks targets. And place active mages/spirits to astral everywhere to protect such creatures does break the feel of the world as believable.

How you solve this problem? Is there some good solution for it, or are such creatures nearly useless, as they can be killed without real effort?

(BTW, I have similar problem with mage going on scouting mission and say - if there is not magical security, just give me full map with NPC marked and say how long it took)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ahriman It was actually a significant plot point in Bug City, which has a large ghoul population. Efforts to attack the purely astral members of a bug spirit hive had consequences on the ghoul community in Chicago, because they're dual-natured and (unlike a human magician) can't stop being astrally active. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Mar 8 '16 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ The Shadowrun Companion states it on page 33. Also I have similar problem with all dual-nature beings, as mage from astral space can simply kill them without any risc. \$\endgroup\$ – gilhad Mar 8 '16 at 20:14
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What you're looking for is Background Count (Magic in the Shadows, p. 83).

As Infected dregs of metahuman society, Ghouls tend to live in some pretty terrible places and tend to be pretty unhappy entities. It would be entirely reasonable for a nest of Ghouls to have a Background Count of at least 2, possibly even 3.

Background Count serves as a modifier to all Magical Skill Tests and adds directly to Drain Resistance Target Numbers as well.

You'll have to run the numbers with your specific group, but I think you'll find that increasing the TNs of the Skill Tests by 3 (which means using the Ghoul's W+3 for Mana spells, which are the only option on the astral) and reducing the TNs for the Ghoul's resistance by however much they cut down on the Force to ease Drain will improve things greatly.

If you really want to throw a curveball, give the Ghouls a magician and make the background count Aspected (MITS p. 85)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Mar 8 '16 at 21:28
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The other thing to consider when a mage attacks from astral is all drain is physical, so as T.J.L said background count is your friend, suddenly unless the mage is a real prime runner casting combat magic in astral is starting to look pretty damn risky.

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