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> Awarding Karma
emo samurai
post Dec 23 2005, 01:31 AM
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The SR4 book suggests about 4 karma for each run. How long is the average run supposed to be? That seems REALLY low if each run is one 4-6 hour gaming session.
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Elve
post Dec 23 2005, 01:41 AM
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1-3 sessions... Depends on the run ;) Sometimes even more, sometimes (seldom) less than 1 session
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BookWyrm
post Dec 23 2005, 01:45 AM
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I think 4 should be the base Karma for the completed run, with situational modifiers, such as doing the least amount of damage, not fragging off the wrong people, performing professionally, ect.
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emo samurai
post Dec 23 2005, 01:55 AM
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Okay... so after the base 4 points, there can be, like, 10+ if people are awesome and funny?
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emo samurai
post Dec 23 2005, 02:49 AM
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QUOTE
"Incoming Mail: - Do U Want a Troll-Sized Penis? (Spam)"


... For that, I would give my right eye to be able to emote "Ripping my own brain out through the top of my skull in anger and disgust" over the internet.
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Azralon
post Dec 23 2005, 02:55 PM
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QUOTE (emo samurai @ Dec 22 2005, 10:49 PM)
I would give my right eye to be able to emote "Ripping my own brain out through the top of my skull in anger and disgust" over the internet.

Wow, the sig created the desire for both real and emoted self-mutiliation.

For what it's worth, I award cumulative karma (per session) thusly:

* Show up to the session: 1 point.
* Group roleplays well: 1 point.
* Individual roleplays well or otherwise amuses me in character: 1 point.
* Objective completed: 1-3 points.

So even on a bad day, everyone gets at least 1 so it doesn't feel like a waste of time. On a great day, you're looking at 5 or 6.

Our weekly sessions run only about 5 hours each, and occasionally sessions consist of nothing more than shopping and legwork. Those will see about 2 karma, typically. On days in which they accomplish their run, they of course get more.

It's entirely true that they can "exploit" my award system by piddling around for session after session, banking about 2 easy karma each time. However, the "mission completed" karma is the bigger payoff and they can't spend upgrade karma except between objectives. So it behooves them, from a "karma over realtime" standpoint, to go out and get things done quickly.

I also have their Edge refresh at the beginning of each session. This typically means they'll spend one 5-hour session on downtime stuff, spending their Edge on that, then they'll want to go out and do dangerous things for the next 5-hour session.

It's worked out very well so far.
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TheHappyAnarchis...
post Dec 23 2005, 04:49 PM
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Yeah, I tend about the same way. Usually a run is over in one compact session for me though, maybe two.

I do a lot of one offs though as opposed to one campaign, due to having a lot of schedules for different people, and not wanting to run a campaign.

I generally would give 1 Karma per session, 2 for good roleplaying, with a bonus of 1-3 for objective completion.

It may not seem like a lot, but it avoids craziness like
"Yeah, this year I initiated four grades into the mysteries of the metaplanes."
and other craziness.

Of course, some people like advancing really really quickly, in which case double what the book suggests. It's your game.
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Mr.Platinum
post Dec 23 2005, 05:10 PM
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Keep it at 1 or 2, or else you going to get tough fast.

Mean they'll want to run alot to earnt he karma.

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Azralon
post Dec 23 2005, 06:03 PM
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QUOTE (Mr.Platinum @ Dec 23 2005, 01:10 PM)
Keep it at 1 or 2, or else you going to get tough fast.

Not so much, actually.

If each of our weekly sessions is worth, say, an average of 3 karma and someone attends about 40 sessions per year then that's about 120 karma per year.

It might initially seem like a lot, but any magician or technomancer will tell you differently. The skillmonkeys have a myriad of hungry karma sinks, too. Raising Edge from 1 to 6 costs 60 karma unto itself. A troll trying for his 10th Strength or Body point is burning 30 each time right there.

Then there's the fact that you can (usually) buy up only one attribute, skill, specialization, or whatnot between adventures. If each of our missions takes up 2 or 3 sessions, then that's a little over a dozen chances to spend karma per year.

I'm really not worried about overly-rapid advancement with my group. Besides, Shadowrun isn't a (supposedly) linear-advancement game like D&D. If I turn around tomorrow and my group is suddenly eating SWAT teams for breakfast, then that's when the IEs & GDs start showing up.

Proportionate response, and all.
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TheHappyAnarchis...
post Dec 23 2005, 06:46 PM
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Yeah, well I like my rules to be more balanced and make sense, so I use some of the Serbitar's changes.

i.e. it does not cost a troll any more to raise his stats then it would a human. You apply the racial mods as upgrades to the base, using the cost of what the stat would be unupgraded.

The same with the Adept power, it doesn't count for karma costs.

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Gondor
post Dec 23 2005, 07:04 PM
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I give a base amount of karma based on how long and hard the run was. My bas amount is much higher than it was a couple of years ago because we play much less often, but back in the day my base was usually from 4 to 9. After this there might be some bonus karma built into the run, something that did not have to be accomplished, but was better or more professional to have done; such as stopping the bomb from going off and finding those responsible, as apposed to just finding those responsible. After this the players petition for karma for their individual characters. Most things are worth either 1/2 or 1 karma. These might include lots of astral stuff for a mage, being the one that saved everyone's ass with a well placed grenade, right skill at right time, creative plan, hacker stuff ect... For the most part people walk with about 8 to 10 karma. Well thats my two bits, take it or leave it (or shove it up your ars). :)
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BookWyrm
post Dec 23 2005, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (Azralon)
QUOTE (emo samurai @ Dec 22 2005, 10:49 PM)
I would give my right eye to be able to emote "Ripping my own brain out through the top of my skull in anger and disgust" over the internet.

Wow, the sig created the desire for both real and emoted self-mutiliation.

For what it's worth, I award cumulative karma (per session) thusly:

* Show up to the session: 1 point.
* Group roleplays well: 1 point.
* Individual roleplays well or otherwise amuses me in character: 1 point.
* Objective completed: 1-3 points.

So even on a bad day, everyone gets at least 1 so it doesn't feel like a waste of time. On a great day, you're looking at 5 or 6.

Our weekly sessions run only about 5 hours each, and occasionally sessions consist of nothing more than shopping and legwork. Those will see about 2 karma, typically. On days in which they accomplish their run, they of course get more.

It's entirely true that they can "exploit" my award system by piddling around for session after session, banking about 2 easy karma each time. However, the "mission completed" karma is the bigger payoff and they can't spend upgrade karma except between objectives. So it behooves them, from a "karma over realtime" standpoint, to go out and get things done quickly.

I also have their Edge refresh at the beginning of each session. This typically means they'll spend one 5-hour session on downtime stuff, spending their Edge on that, then they'll want to go out and do dangerous things for the next 5-hour session.

It's worked out very well so far.

To this I add;
well-timed comedy/sarcasm; 1 point
providing munchies: 1 point
helping clean up after game: 1 point each participant
Returing anything borrowed: 1 point each borrowed item
Car Pooling:
Each person contributing gas money; 2 points each.


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mfb
post Dec 23 2005, 10:47 PM
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how much karma you give out per run depends completely on how you want to run your campaign. if you want your players to be badass faster, give them more karma (and money); if you want to keep them in the gutters, give them less.
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PlatonicPimp
post Dec 24 2005, 04:12 PM
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My typical reward is thus:

4 points at the end of the run, per session it took to complete the run. This is because my runs are typically multi-parters, so essentially they are more than one run with a connected plot.

If the Group, as a whole, works well together, moves quickly from objective to objective, and doesnt hold up the session with distractions, I reward 1 extra karma for each of those catagories they meet. (This hasn't happened yet)

I also give out individual awards for the following: Coming up with a good plan, good role play, Displays of leadership that get the group on target, General Bad-assery, and humor that entertains without detracting from the game.

At the end of every session I also have the "Player's choice" award. My players are pretty good about unanimously picking someone to receive this 1 bonus Karma, and no one ever nominates themselves. Judge your group and use this at your own risk.

So in the end, my players can reasonably expect to see 5-6 Karma a session. This may be a bit fast, but I'm having them run in Europe, where you need more skill to get by. Especially when you get caught between NEO-net and Saeder-Krupp.


One other point: I reward Players with Karma, not characters. What this means is that, the player keeps their total Karma reward noted. If their Character ever Buys the farm, and they make a new one, they can improve That character with the Karma they've earned. This is so the game stays at the same power level, and because it's really the player who deserves a reward anyway.
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Panzergeist
post Dec 26 2005, 05:09 AM
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How about 5 karma for a run that spans 3 sessions, each 4 or 5 hours long? And that same run pays three to five grand? That's how I play. It's not a big deal for those of us who tend to die quickly, though. :evil:
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Mr.Platinum
post Dec 26 2005, 10:17 PM
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I'm still in the experimental stage of the new system.
I may increase int he future.
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FrostyNSO
post Dec 26 2005, 11:01 PM
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I do karma by committee, asking the players at the end of the run how much they think the run was worth. If I agree that it was reasonable, that's what they'll get (usually an average of the numbers they stated, adjusted by me).

After that, I focus on one player and ask the others how much additional karma that player should be awarded, and why. Then I repeat the proccess for the other players. Numbers are averaged and maybe adjusted by me as before.

This keeps the players pretty well satisfied. The GM doesn't screw anybody with less karma than they think they deserve, their peers do.
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Chandon
post Dec 27 2005, 05:31 AM
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I strongly think you should ignore the crap out of the karma suggestions in the book and use the following technique to determine karma rewards:

1.) Figure out how much Karma you want your players to have on average for your game.
2.) Estimate how many sessions the game is likely to last.
3.) Hand out enough karma that players will get to your target karma value slightly before you've finished half the expected number of sessions.
4.) Hand out slightly less karma after that.
5.) Don't worry about handing out more karma than your target value. The karma requirement to become noticably more powerful grows.

In order to get an estimate for #1, build a couple starting characters and then advance them until they feel "right". Assuming you want your players to experience character advancement, "right" is "advanced". That's the amount of karma to target.
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Azralon
post Dec 27 2005, 04:49 PM
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QUOTE (BookWyrm @ Dec 23 2005, 06:12 PM)
To this I add;
well-timed comedy/sarcasm; 1 point
providing munchies: 1 point
helping clean up after game: 1 point each participant
Returing anything borrowed: 1 point each borrowed item
Car Pooling:
Each person contributing gas money; 2 points each.

Wow, that seems overboard to me. Not just in potential award volume, but in administrative overhead.

I mean, as a player I'd go out of my way to make sure I carpooled with one person, we both brought a token snack (which we ourselves might promptly eat anyway and then toss in the trash), and that we made sure to borrow something each session.

It seems too easily exploited, which puts pressure on the GM to put his foot down (which detracts from potential playtime) or end up accepting that the non-exploit people are just going to lag behind on karma.

Good luck to ya if it's working out so far, though.
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Xenith
post Dec 28 2005, 04:08 PM
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Eh. I'd say 1 or 2 per session, with a larger reward of 3 to 5 at the end. Keep your reward "system" open, and just hand it out as you see fit. But write down specific points you would like to reward, just don't put a value to it, til you see the player do it and decide then. :)
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ogbendog
post Dec 28 2005, 04:10 PM
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Providing Munchies probably means to the group, not to yourselves.
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