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  1. - Top - End - #331
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Dimestoretiamat View Post
    It really is a delicate balance. I settle for the level of "Well THATS an issue". Its between "There are no consequences" and "Holy crap this guy is so frustrating to play". Use common sense and the law of "It would be really funny right now" as a guide.
    Once again, I'll refer people to a more well made RPG, L5R 4e. In that disadvantages are mostly all mechanical, or at least provide some real penalties. Taking the Can't Lie disadvantage can cause real problems. Their not all perfect, but taking max points worth of disadvantages isn't an automatic in that system.
    "Sometimes, we’re heroes. Sometimes, we shoot other people right in the face for money."

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    In every RPG that has disadvantages there is always the burden on the GM as to how much to bring them up, the problem with SR4's disadvantages is they are all over the place.
    After years experience as a GM, I've learned that when I set up a campaign, I take a little time to integrate some tailored antagonists for the purpose of using them should a player take up some disadvantage like "Enemy". These antagonists are also set up to show anyway as the favored hench of a boss or such, thus they can multitask withut interrupting the plot.
    Takes a little work to set up, but the investment is worth it.


    Hilarious experience point--Once I was a player in a Shadowrun game and everyone had taken an enemy disadvantage except me. The GM had a bit of a headscratcher because he wasn't sure how to work this without giving several players the same enemy or not giving the enemy any "screen time". I helped him by providing an interesting solution--
    All the enemies were corporate investors from different Megacorps that met at a party. In conversation they learned that they each had a particular runner they hated and wanted dead. They all decided to make a betting pool: Winner was whoever killed off their runner first.

    Thus, we occasionally had Johnsons from competing enemies give us jobs tailored to kill their specific runner (But couldn't kill the other runners because that would constitute losing the bet). For example, the enemy belonging to the Hacker would have the Johnson give us a data-steal job and ensure there was some extra Black IC in the node to fry his brain. The Street-Sam enemy would tell the factory guards to aim for the big guy first when the Runners show up to sabotage the facility.

    A little complex, but it worked to make the disadvantage playable.
    And of course, *I* ended up being killed first.
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  3. - Top - End - #333
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    Will the GM force the player to sit out because their character has an obligation? Will they force the table to decide between leaving one guy out or having everybody sit around and do nothing? If either of these is the case, they're being a bad GM. The alternative, though, turns the "flaw" into a piece of roleplay fluff at best. Inconvenient if you happen to get forced into your character's life, but meaningless at the table. (One could argue that having an income that's not reliant on being shot at is a good thing if you get lifeswapped, but that's neither here nor there.)
    But there are plenty of alternatives that lie between the extremes of 'you can't take part in the session' and 'it doesn't affect you at all'.
    For example you been at work all day and Shadowrunning all night. By the third day start applying some dice pool penalaties or rolls to see if he falls asleep during the boring stake-out as the Runner suffers from lack of sleep.
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by DigoDragon View Post
    After years experience as a GM, I've learned that when I set up a campaign, I take a little time to integrate some tailored antagonists for the purpose of using them should a player take up some disadvantage like "Enemy". These antagonists are also set up to show anyway as the favored hench of a boss or such, thus they can multitask withut interrupting the plot.
    Takes a little work to set up, but the investment is worth it.


    Hilarious experience point--Once I was a player in a Shadowrun game and everyone had taken an enemy disadvantage except me. The GM had a bit of a headscratcher because he wasn't sure how to work this without giving several players the same enemy or not giving the enemy any "screen time". I helped him by providing an interesting solution--
    All the enemies were corporate investors from different Megacorps that met at a party. In conversation they learned that they each had a particular runner they hated and wanted dead. They all decided to make a betting pool: Winner was whoever killed off their runner first.

    Thus, we occasionally had Johnsons from competing enemies give us jobs tailored to kill their specific runner (But couldn't kill the other runners because that would constitute losing the bet). For example, the enemy belonging to the Hacker would have the Johnson give us a data-steal job and ensure there was some extra Black IC in the node to fry his brain. The Street-Sam enemy would tell the factory guards to aim for the big guy first when the Runners show up to sabotage the facility.

    A little complex, but it worked to make the disadvantage playable.
    And of course, *I* ended up being killed first.
    That's awesome

  5. - Top - End - #335
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by TheOOB View Post
    And the balance is way out of whack. Combat Paralysis kills your character, but you can get the same BP from 4 minor allergies that will likely never come up, and even if they do they are not a huge deal.
    To that, I say the GM isn't doing his job, as GM approval is explicitly part of character creation. Heck, IIRC, such is specifically warned against in the discussion of the flaw.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    Will the GM force the player to sit out because their character has an obligation? Will they force the table to decide between leaving one guy out or having everybody sit around and do nothing? If either of these is the case, they're being a bad GM. The alternative, though, turns the "flaw" into a piece of roleplay fluff at best. Inconvenient if you happen to get forced into your character's life, but meaningless at the table. (One could argue that having an income that's not reliant on being shot at is a good thing if you get lifeswapped, but that's neither here nor there.)
    And they're likewise being a bad GM if they let them take the flaw and never have it matter. A good GM has a balance between "This flaw has a 1 in 3 chance of making you play Nintendo all evening" and "I hope you enjoy your 5k nuyen a month!"

    If it doesn't impede your ability when the spotlight is on, it's not a real flaw.
    I think this is the essence of the debate. Flaws should not be immaterial... but I don't view it as "bending over backwards" to make them part of the game. Both edges and flaws help to define your character, but they are also part of the GMs job to make them matter. Taking an Edge that never comes up is wasted points; taking a flaw that never comes up is bonus points. And it's up to the GM to make sure, especially in the case of flaws, that they come up.
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  6. - Top - End - #336
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    I consider carefully all flaws characters take it has to be something that will
    a) Fit the Campaign
    b) Be a disadvantage
    I limit allergies to uncommon substances to one per character unless it is obvious to opponents. I also guarantee the allergy will come up at several oppertunities.
    Incompetence I require be in a skill which the player could reasonably use so obscure skills are unlikely to be allowed.

    But making sure that the players characters are properly balanced with each other and fit the campaign is part of the GM's job. All game systems have problems and all points design systems can be exploited. In the words of Hero system ' A disadvantage which is not a Disadvantage is worth 0 points'

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Slightly off the current topic but i will barge in and ask it anyway.

    I am currently running a 4e game and i am considering pulling the pin on it for one main reason.

    The rules involving the Matrix are just to damn slow and heavy!

    I understand them both theoretically and practically and designing a node or a cluster of nodes topology doesn't phase me in the slightest...

    ...but...

    ...When it comes down to actually doing anything above data search in the matrix its just becomes so slow and boring. Meanwhile all of your other non matrix based characters have to sit around watching the hacker throw big meaninglessness piles of dice over and over again until their ears bleed.

    I know this is an ever present issue with shadowrun.

    I know the standard advice is if you don't like the Matrix just have an NPC hacker "do" all the Matrix crap for them.

    But the thing is...

    ...I really like the Matrix.

    I think its an integral part of the setting and i want it to be a key factor in the way my runners think.

    I just think the rules for the Matrix are way to heavy for practical use!
    (+ i have at least one player in my game that loves the Matrix and everything to do with it.)

    I guess what i'm looking for is a way to lighten up the 4e matrix rules some what.

    Or streamline it...

    i don't know.

    help!


  8. - Top - End - #338

    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Hackers are designed to be resource-light, so the character will have backup skills. On top of that, the system bends over backwards to make sure there are times when you have to physically enter a location. The PC should have other skills to fall back on if they don't want to get hosed.

    Things that would be extended actions that would eat up lots of table time should be abstracted to simple skill roles. Just make it so that in your world, most devices count on limited accessibility over IC for protection. If you can only hack the elevator is from a terminal inside of it, you both give a reason for the hacker to physically tag along, and a reason to avoid adding complications. (Although alerts being raised and ensuing complications are a fair cost for failing.)

    Extended solo hackfests should be treated like extended solo metaplanar quests, or indeed any extended solo character arc. Do it over email, or some similar way of resolving things between game sessions.

  9. - Top - End - #339
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    This guy re-wrote the matrix rules in a way I think is pretty cool.
    I've mostly just skimmed it, but there are a few important points.

    So the problem is that:
    1) The hacker's job is more complicated and takes more time than the jobs of the other players
    2) The other players have nothing to do while the hacker does his job

    Solutions:
    1) Make hacking less complicated
    2) Have hacking in contexts where the other players will do things

    1) Throw out all the stuff about Node topology and different combinations of IC. Forget that noise. When a hacker battles the IC, he is battling the IC. All of it. The sum total of the target system's defenses, whatever stats they may have.

    1) Focus on objectives. What are you trying to do? What attribute/skill combo goes for that? Is it opposed or unopposed? Did you succeed? What's the next step?
    Make/acquire some reference cards. If you think there are too many steps, remove some. Streamline it.

    2) Have hacking during prepwork. The face goes undercover at the target site. The sam chats up his contact, tunes his gear and ware. The mage scouts the astral or consults with spirits or whatever. The rigger takes his drones out of storage, fuels them up, installs a new surveillance system. The hacker digs up all the info they can, maybe steals some data from somewhere else. Everyone's got something to do. If the rules are streamlined, hacking shouldn't require too many more dice-rolls.

    2) During combat, hackers target enemy vehicles, drones, smartguns, cyber-limbs (if the enemy is real dumb or the hacker very sneaky). Any device they can connect to that might be useful. If the rules are stream-lined enough and the topology is abstracted then the hacking shouldn't require more dice rolls than the shooting.


    You've probably heard all this before, and I've not had much success myself in the realm of running games, so sorry if it isn't useful.

  10. - Top - End - #340
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    My trouble with alternate matrix rules is that the exact same thing is also true of mages scouting on the astral (except for the complicated rules subset), but no one really minds that.
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  11. - Top - End - #341
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    What I have tended to do with hacking is simply change it.

    Hackers roll Attribute + Skill. Like spellcasters, their maximum hits is based on the rating of their program... you can't get a ton of information on a secret project if you're using Yahoo! as your only resource. Frequently, Hackers will be Logic-Heavy, since that tends to be their most-used for skills. Thresholds tend to be based on the Firewall of whatever they're attacking, or similar restrictions.

    I'd probably do the same with Technomancers, but only change the Attribute to always be Resonance. I'd also be inclined to simply let them purchase Complex forms like they were spells (X karma/BP to purchase, set Rating up to Resonance; perhaps allow going over Resonance, but at the cost of something like Drain). However, I've never had anyone interested in playing a Technomancer.

    I'd also let a technomancer come up with weird-ass Complex Forms that don't conform to usual rules and ideas.
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  12. - Top - End - #342
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    *snip*
    hmmm.. i'm going to think on this one for a while,

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I'd also let a technomancer come up with weird-ass Complex Forms that don't conform to usual rules and ideas.
    Is this as opposed to threading?

    I have a techno in my group at the moment. I don't think i will allow one again as they slow matrix actions down even further.
    Last edited by Kaun; 2012-08-18 at 08:18 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #343
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaun View Post
    Is this as opposed to threading?

    I have a techno in my group at the moment. I don't think i will allow one again as they slow matrix actions down even further.
    This is how unfamiliar I am with it... couldn't tell you.
    The Cranky Gamer
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  14. - Top - End - #344
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Hackers roll Attribute + Skill. Like spellcasters, their maximum hits is based on the rating of their program.
    BRILLIANT! I must try this out in the next Shadowrun game I'm involved with.


    As for hacking while other players have nothing to do, I've usually set up datasteals where the target node cannot be accessed wireless from the outside, and entering from outside landlines is harder than breaking into the building and hacking from within (firewalls). This way it nudges hackers to get close to the action for hacking and the other players get to watch his meat body in case a guard walks by.
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  15. - Top - End - #345
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    I'm a new-comer to the Shadowrun scene, and I was wondering if there were any Shadowrun 4e resources/handbooks out there. Got anything for me, chummers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    I'm a new-comer to the Shadowrun scene, and I was wondering if there were any Shadowrun 4e resources/handbooks out there. Got anything for me, chummers?
    Outside of the Rule/splat books?

    try

    dumpshock.com

  17. - Top - End - #347
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Another question (thanks for answering so fast, by the way):

    I've read the section about Astral Projection, but I don't understand the benefits it grants that make the magician worth the 5 BP more than the mystic adept, who has access to the same spellcasting and the adept powers. Can someone explain why Astral Projection is so useful that it's worth the extra BP?
    Incarnum: VoP's best (and possibly only) friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.
    Purple is for casting spells of the Thread subtype (like Raise Thread).

    The Cardcaptor, a Cardcaptor Sakura Class Statification (WIP!)

    KA's Psionic Tricks Handbook (WIP!)

    Metal Heads and Similar Things(WIP!)

    Oh, and you can call me Lestro, if you prefer.

  18. - Top - End - #348
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    Another question (thanks for answering so fast, by the way):

    I've read the section about Astral Projection, but I don't understand the benefits it grants that make the magician worth the 5 BP more than the mystic adept, who has access to the same spellcasting and the adept powers. Can someone explain why Astral Projection is so useful that it's worth the extra BP?
    Well, A, it's a 2 point power for Mystic Adepts... if a mage and an adept both want to do it, and are otherwise build identically, the mystic adept will have, effectively, 2 points less of magic. And that's with no other powers at all... just X-2 Magic to the mage's X.

    However, Astral Perception (free to Magicians) lets you evaluate people and objects. It is a free "detect magic", and is subtle enough (especially if you've got shades) that you can check people out relatively easily. Want to know if they're normal, magical, cybered, or even human? Assensing is your game.

    Astral projection also allows for rapid scouting... somewhat similar to what you can achieve with a drone, but while a drone can ignore magical security but is frequently stymied by more physical security, the astral form can ignore physical security, being stopped by the relatively rarer magical security.

    Also, when you reach the higher levels, astral projection allows you to access metaplanes, which are useful for a number of different tricks (like summoning great form spirits).
    The Cranky Gamer
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  19. - Top - End - #349
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Yeah other magicians aisde (and mages are rare) you're invisble, intangible and can walk through walls. What's not to love ?
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Well, A, it's a 2 point power for Mystic Adepts... if a mage and an adept both want to do it, and are otherwise build identically, the mystic adept will have, effectively, 2 points less of magic. And that's with no other powers at all... just X-2 Magic to the mage's X.

    However, Astral Perception (free to Magicians) lets you evaluate people and objects. It is a free "detect magic", and is subtle enough (especially if you've got shades) that you can check people out relatively easily. Want to know if they're normal, magical, cybered, or even human? Assensing is your game.

    Astral projection also allows for rapid scouting... somewhat similar to what you can achieve with a drone, but while a drone can ignore magical security but is frequently stymied by more physical security, the astral form can ignore physical security, being stopped by the relatively rarer magical security.

    Also, when you reach the higher levels, astral projection allows you to access metaplanes, which are useful for a number of different tricks (like summoning great form spirits).
    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Yeah other magicians aisde (and mages are rare) you're invisble, intangible and can walk through walls. What's not to love ?
    While all of those might be true, you can do something better by channeling a possession spirit who then endows you with the Astral Form ability, which means you (including your body) are in the Astral Plane, without the normal time limit for being on that plane. And all of what I just said can be done by a mystic adept with a possession tradition. That's why I ask why you would spend the extra 5 BP to become a magician when you can also do this by being a mystic adept.

    Anyways, I have another question. This one is two-part:

    A: What are the best spirits? I haven't heard of any must have spirits.
    B: What are the best sprites? The only sprite I've heard is a must have is machine.
    Incarnum: VoP's best (and possibly only) friend.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Actually I got it from you, I just love how many applications it has. It can be oh so broken.
    Purple is for casting spells of the Thread subtype (like Raise Thread).

    The Cardcaptor, a Cardcaptor Sakura Class Statification (WIP!)

    KA's Psionic Tricks Handbook (WIP!)

    Metal Heads and Similar Things(WIP!)

    Oh, and you can call me Lestro, if you prefer.

  21. - Top - End - #351
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    While all of those might be true, you can do something better by channeling a possession spirit who then endows you with the Astral Form ability, which means you (including your body) are in the Astral Plane, without the normal time limit for being on that plane. And all of what I just said can be done by a mystic adept with a possession tradition. That's why I ask why you would spend the extra 5 BP to become a magician when you can also do this by being a mystic adept.
    It also requires you to be of a possession tradition, which then limits your options for summoning.

    A: What are the best spirits? I haven't heard of any must have spirits.
    Of the core, I like Man. I'm a big fan of Task, Combat, and Ancestors, as well. Gives a nice range of powers, including some Spell options.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Lestroisrois View Post
    While all of those might be true, you can do something better by channeling a possession spirit who then endows you with the Astral Form ability, which means you (including your body) are in the Astral Plane, without the normal time limit for being on that plane. And all of what I just said can be done by a mystic adept with a possession tradition. That's why I ask why you would spend the extra 5 BP to become a magician when you can also do this by being a mystic adept.
    The ability to assense and do recon without showing off, risking drain, and dealing with the other side effects, mostly. You'll be using perception/projection a lot more to take quick peeks than to do any serious running.

    Also, the bit where 5BP is pretty much chump change in terms of chargen. If you're willing to deal with an extra step or two to bring your astral abilities on-line, that's as much of a hardship on your character as being a social drinker.

  23. - Top - End - #353
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Soooo, just put my current Shadowrun game to bed this weekend.

    Always makes me sad... love the game, just can't ever find a good group of players for it.

    Had one player who wanted to play it like Oceans 11. (which was good!)

    One player who just wanted to walk into places and wing everything. (this was ok, he thinks well on the fly.)

    One player who wanted to run a different character every week but would get frustrated when their character couldn't do everything perfectly. (this was frustrating.)

    One player who just wanted to shoot things. (ehhh, there is always one)

    And finally one player who would never turn up.

    I pulled the plug on it because i was forever having to come up with reasons not to kill them for their stupidity. I don't mind a beer and pretzels games but i couldn't be bothered running one using the SR4 rules.

    One day i will get a good SR game going.... one day.

    /emo

  24. - Top - End - #354
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    I'm surprised. Every SR game I've gotten into has always had at least 1 troll with an axe. That is their concept and their plan.
    The Cranky Gamer
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Huh, never had a Troll with an axe in my games... Shotguns all the time though. Maybe they decided on a new thing?

    I'd love to get in on a new SR4 game, but my wife dislikes the combat system so if my group started one, she'd sit it out. Also, everyone expects me to run it and I'd really like to be a player again. Haven't been on in quite some time.
    Though if I did run, I'd go with my "Second Civil War" concept where the UCAS marched down to the CAS to re-annex it.
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  26. - Top - End - #356
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    I'm surprised. Every SR game I've gotten into has always had at least 1 troll with an axe. That is their concept and their plan.
    My last game had a Troll with a pole arm. When we wanted to break into a fortified luxury oceanfront property, he was tasked with providing the distraction so that two other players could sneak in the back and assassinate the target while security was distracted.

    He got his bike, picked up a dustbin lid, braced his pole arm under one meaty arm and jousted at the front gate of the property. Ran straight into a razor wire fence gate, but hey, he certainly distracted the guards...
    "Not trusting me might be the smartest decision you made since getting off of your horse."

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  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    I am occasionally convinced that the world of Shadowrun, mental illness is far more common, and guards are used to dealing with it.

    Because I have seen PCs.
    The Cranky Gamer
    *It isn't realism, it's verisimilitude; the appearance of truth within the framework of the game.
    *Keep faith, trust to love. Fight with honor, but fight to win. -Wonder Woman, The Circle (Gail Simone)
    *Picard management tip: Debate honestly. The goal is to arrive at the truth, not at your preconception.
    *The One Deck Engine: Gaming on a budget from a convenience store.
    Avatar is from Thunt's Goblins!
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  28. - Top - End - #358
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    oOur troll to favoured the polearm he used to carry it around in bits in a black briefcase and assemble it like a sniper in a thriller before any fight
    All Comicshorse's posts come with the advisor : This is just my opinion any difficulties arising from implementing my ideas are your own problem

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    Our last run ended up with the riggers cut of the profit being -$1300.

    He decided the only way to get the run completed involved suiciding 3 souped up dragonfly drones.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th ed. Questions

    It's been 3 weeks, but I don't think that's necroing yet. I'd rather keep this thread up than make another SR topic that'll die after 2-3 replies, if that.

    So my group is starting up Shadowrun after nearly 2 years away from it (focusing on D&D instead), most of us are starting new characters, but one guy is carrying over his character from last time. As a result, we get to start with some bonus karma to compensate.

    I was originally going to do a melee mage (with a handful of touch range spells, and a melee weapon), but one of the other party members decided he wanted to do an unarmed adept, so I decided to switch it up, and will instead be doing a regular old mage, and am considering a focus on summoning.

    But like I mentioned, it's been a couple of years since I played, so a lot of little details and quirks are lost to my memory. So I'm looking for any general advice. Particularly in terms of what spirits/spirit powers might be useful (as that's something I had relatively little knowledge of even when I was playing regularly, my group usually focused on the spellcasting end of things), and ideas on what the most efficient use of 39 karma after the initial 400bp would be (Honestly considering just spending it on a initiation group and initiating a few times). I know saving bp on specializations and buying those with the karma is better, but anything else that would be better to spend karma on?

    Also, given that we have the option to take "bonus power point" in place of a metamagic(think this was an optional rule from SM), would it be worth it to go mystic adept rather than mage? (basically trading out the astral stuff for the ability to pick up other cool things for karma).
    If my text is blue, I'm being sarcastic.But you already knew that, right?


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