Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    My group's settled on Shadowrun for our first game (we'll be using the 4th Edition Anniversary rules), and I'm looking for general recommendations and advice.

    Our first session will be to run through a oneshot with pregenerated characters to get a feel for the rules and ambiance. Can anyone recommend an available mission? Ideally the run would be short (being new to the mechanics will slow us down quite a bit), touch on a wide variety of rules aspects, and have a nice gritty feel to it. I'm leaning towards doling out the Street Samurai, Bounty Hunter, and Combat Mage from the Catalyst Quick-Start Rules to my three players.

    In more general terms, can anyone recommend specific GM resources? Are there any can't live without helper programs to make play run smoothly? Any particularly broken rules that need a patch? Advice on group composition to that everyone in the three player team can share the limelight?

    Based on a bit of SR 2E experience long ago, I'm strongly inclined to make Matrix related stuff the domain of NPCs unless a player is very interested in playing a decker. Am I short-changing our fun if I do this?

    Thanks for any advice or thoughts.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    gourdcaptain's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    First off, the Shadowrun 4e pregens in the books are kinda infamously poorly done. Not illegal, but rather impossibly poorly done. Things like a weapons master without multiple initiative passes and such, and a general ineptitude in their design, and don't tend to be very broad in their abilities. Not sure what to do otherwise, given SR 4A character generation tends to take long enough to be prohibitive for a one-shot, but you might want to know.

    Second, IMHO, it's a bit easier to run a hacker as an integral part of a run in 4e due to it working on the same general rules as everything else - I've seen combats go on where there's simultaneous hacking going on that's effecting the battle. But if none of your PC's want to be one, you can certainly handle it with NPCS.

    Third - there's two optional rules proposed in the books I'm a big fan of. First, from Arsenal, is the custom rule where you can have armor custom-fitted to allow a maximum of Body x3 armor before encumbrance, which makes it a bit easier to build characters who won't immediately fold over like tissue paper in a gunfight, but that may be a personal taste issue. Otherwise, I like the stat-based computer actions rule from Unwired where instead of computer rolls being Skill+Program Rating, they're Stat+Skill capped at the rating number of hits, like a spell. (A houserule on that is to allow technomancers to use Resonance for their computer check skills to decrease MAD slightly.)
    Last edited by gourdcaptain; 2012-09-19 at 05:43 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    I would recommend checking out the Dumpshock forums.
    See when a tree falls in the forest, and there's no one there to hear it, you can bet we've bought the vinyl.
    -Snow White

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Food Fight is often seen as one of the traditional short one-shots; On the Run is another that you might look into.
    He understands - more than the others do, at any rate. We don't talk much, and the silence speaks
    volumes. (Thanks to Gnomish Wanderer for the Nosferatu avatar! )

    Wanna see what all this Exalted stuff is about? Here's a primer!

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Need_A_Life's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Danmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Food Fight and On the Run are both classics.

    There's the official missions too (many of them free), which I recommend. The Grab in particular appeals to me.

    The Matrix rules are... difficult to use without slowing things down and you'll find several rewrites of those rules that makes it so that it slows things down less.

    Apart from that: AIs should not be playable using the official rules (they're broken in more ways than on) and Uncouth is a death sentence for every character who takes it.
    Watch your back, shoot straight, conserve ammo, never trust an elf and never, ever, cut a deal with a dragon.
    Zonugals Handbook to Commoners
    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by Emperor Tippy View Post
    Bah, if WotC actually published it then I will allow it I suppose; but that doesn't change the fact that I find it really stupid to throw your limbs at your enemies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Stu42 View Post
    Evil people don't have a problem working with Paladins. Paladins are the intolerant ones.
    Quote Originally Posted by AntiTrust View Post
    I'm not sure sacred vow and divine tax loophole really belong in the same sentence

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Thanks for the help all. Dumpshock is a great find, and the missions look like good one-shots.

    Are the source-book pregens bad but balanced against equally bad mission NPCs, or should I look for another source of characters? (It looks like Dumpshock has a thread of statted out characters).

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Swordguy's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Covington, KY
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Downtime View Post
    Are the source-book pregens bad but balanced against equally bad mission NPCs, or should I look for another source of characters? (It looks like Dumpshock has a thread of statted out characters).
    The pregens from the original 4th edition book are mathematically bad. As in wrong. The math is incorrect on most, if not all of them.

    The pregens from the 4th edition Anniversary book are mathematically sound, but they aren't optimized to the degree that even novice players to the system tend to make characters. As a rule, they're fine to use for 1-shots as long as 1) the group is new, and 2) they ONLY use the pre-gens. Combining pre-gens with custom characters is asking for trouble. The pre-gens are generally good enough against most street-level NPCs...if you're going up against gangers and such (see also: Food Fight), they'll be fine. If you're going up against Red Samurai, you're sasquatch chow.

    If you want to use a more high-powered group of pre-gens, the character assistance subforum on the official SR4 boards (NOT Dumpshock!) has a large list of more...optimized...pre-gens that aren't totally broken. I prefer, though, to start brand new players to SR with the "official" book pre-gens. First, they have nice art. Second, they reinforce a major concept in Shadowrun that you shouldn't depend on your stats to carry you through a run - you should depend on good tactics and a good plan. Not having the stats there to fall back upon reinforces that concept.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dervag
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin
    Thus, knowing none of us are Sun Tzu or Napoleon or Julius Caesar...
    No, but Swordguy appears to have studied people who are. And took notes.
    "I'd complain about killing catgirls, but they're dead already. You killed them with your 685 quadrillion damage." - Mikeejimbo, in reference to this

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Superhero in the Playground Moderator
     
    Mark Hall's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Swordguy View Post
    If you're going up against Red Samurai, you're sasquatch chow.
    Sasquatch are vegetarians. [/obnoxious pedant]
    Last edited by Mark Hall; 2012-09-20 at 03:31 PM.
    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!
    HackMaster Basic: A Free Game

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Rookie GM starting Shadowrun: oneshots and other advice, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Hall View Post
    Sasquatch are vegetarians. [/obnoxious pedant]
    That's just what they want you to think. Have you ever seen a sasquatch eat a salad?
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
    --Will S.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •