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> Finally got SR4 and I have a few rules questions, and comments
Samoth
post Jun 2 2006, 12:17 AM
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I really like the look and layout of the new edition. The art is for the most part very good, and the addition of pictures for quite a bit of the gear is a definite positive. The writing is much better than I have read in recent sourcebooks (not meant as a slam to the freelancers; it should be taken as a compliment), and I have really enjoyed reading the fluff as well as the rules. The changes in rules look good to me. One good thing now is that using light or machine pistols is actually a viable idea for the first time since 1st edition, and mages are no longer all-powerful. 8)

Questions:

1. Can a cyberarm gyromount be installed in a cyberhand, or is a full arm necessary? I know the hand has enough capacity, but does the gyromount need reinforcements through the arm?

2. What is the benefit of having a commlink cybernetically installed? Just the fact that you don't have to carry it around? Also, what purpose do datajacks serve now?

3. Is bioware avaiable in alpha/beta/delta like cyberware has been, or am I misreading the rules?

4. The rules say a character's maximum magic rating is (natural magic max [6] + initiations, but the initiations can not exceed the magic rating). So the natural max magic is now 12? What if I had a natural magic of 4 and an initiate level of 2 and wanted to increase my magic? would I pay the cost of rasing my magic to 5, or would it cost as much as raising it to 8?
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Kanada Ten
post Jun 2 2006, 12:29 AM
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QUOTE
1. Can a cyberarm gyromount be installed in a cyberhand, or is a full arm necessary? I know the hand has enough capacity, but does the gyromount need reinforcements through the arm?

I think it can be installed in just a cyberhand (or rather, I didn't see anything forbidding it), though some GMs may ask for more. Personally, I can see wanting a cyber forearm, but the advantage to cost ratio is rather low.

QUOTE
2. What is the benefit of having a commlink cybernetically installed? Just the fact that you don't have to carry it around? Also, what purpose do datajacks serve now?

Well, a cyber commlink would be hard to target with spells or weapons, and can't easily be taken from you. Depending on the GM, you maybe able to disguise the cyber commlink in such a way that people taking you hostage wouldn't spot it, giving you an advantage in that case. The datajack has a nice package deal with the knowsoft link, memory, and so on. With one you can disable wireless and skinlink and use wires - making you much harder to hack.

QUOTE
3. Is bioware avaiable in alpha/beta/delta like cyberware has been, or am I misreading the rules?

That's how I read it.
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Cold-Dragon
post Jun 2 2006, 12:30 AM
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1) Well, gryomounts aren't my thing, but if they're listed in the cybernetic section for implantable goodies, then you can put it in either. I know that the arm is bound to have more room, but if you want to minimize body alteration, you can stick to the hand. *shrugs* You'll need a better techie for that question.

2) Ultimately, the cyber-link is for the true commlink addict. You always have it, you always know where it is. No risk of theft without a chunk of flesh being ripped out, etc.

Also, it's less conspicuous if you just have to to something with it, as you can now work it mentally instead of physically (unless you're a techno or already had such options in the first place). Beyond that....again, a techie question (I'm more mage, but I do know how to click on those spiffy VR/AR links I keep getting advertising a good time).

3) If it's not cultured, I believe bioware also benefits from the ratings. Cultured is basically at its best, and being personal, can't be supped up beyond advancements in bioware knowledge.

4) Unless you're a special race or you've been butchering your magic attribute, everyone can have a potential of up to 6, and can start lower but train it up to 6.

When you initiate, you can push the boundary further. It would be possible, if crazy, to heavily cyber yourself while initiating to the extreme, getting a 5-6 in magic while being very much robot (granted, if you ever hit 0 during this modding, you are burned out regardless). If you're doing this, I will either be afraid, or I'll pull out your duracells.

Only paranormals are known to have the habit of breaking this rule. Then again, they're paranormals, and they are 'not normal'. ;) Case in point being dragons.
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James McMurray
post Jun 2 2006, 12:32 AM
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1) It can be installed in the hand. Some GMs have restricted it to the arm because of the problem of reinforcement, butt he rules don't require it.

2) Headware is a lot harder to steal. Datajacks are still useful for accessing nonwired systems. Many older systems and high security systems will not be upgraded for financial or security reasons.

3) Yep, you can get bioware in grades. It's really freaking expensive and the essence costs are so low already that it doesn't save you much.

4) Every time you initiate you can raise your magic rating. So if you initiate once and raise your magic to 7 you are now limited to initiating 7 times. If during that time you initiate against and bump your magic to 8 you'll be able to initiate 8 times.
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Samoth
post Jun 2 2006, 12:36 AM
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so when you initiate you choose between gaining a new power or increasing your magic attribute? i haven't read that section thoroughly yet.

5. How are skillsofts stored? Can I buy 20 activesofts, upload them all to my datajack's memory, and cycle through them as I see fit?
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Kanada Ten
post Jun 2 2006, 12:42 AM
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The number of active skillsofts one can run is limited by the sum of their ratings compared to twice the skillwires ratings. One can have any "reasonable" number of skillsofts in memory, but only use a limited number of them at one time. Rating 3 skillwires, limits one to two rating 3 skillsofts at one time, for example. Switching skillsofts requires an action, though I can't remember if that's a simple or complex.

You can hide or download skillsofts in other nodes, as well.

This post has been edited by Kanada Ten: Jun 2 2006, 01:07 AM
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Cold-Dragon
post Jun 2 2006, 12:50 AM
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Initiation does both now - you can only do it up to your natural magic attribute (So for the starting classes, the limit is always 6).

Your natural can only go to 6, your initiation can only go to 6 (and thus raise your magic by 6 points) but only if you already have all 6 points to start with. Think of it as a separate attribute that is limited by the value of your magic attribute.

Technically, you can initiate after the 6th time to gain extra options. A rating this high, however, is very, very, powerful. You are the sort that can get the notice of extraplanar beings and dragons and insect spirits and so on.

The SR book takes into consideration powerful but not neccessarily god-like characters. The Street Magic book will probably look into that to some extent.
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James McMurray
post Jun 2 2006, 01:15 AM
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Cold-Dragon: not true. Initiation does not raise your magic attribute in SR4. It raises your maximum, but you still have to pay the karma. Thus the limit of initiating grows as your magic rating grows.

Of course, the cost of going that high is astronomical, and there's almost certainly something better you can do with the karm besides going from initiate grade 6 to 7, requiring going from magic 6 to 7. IIRC that's a total of 42 karma (21 for initiating and 21 for raising magic). In other words, it's enough for 8 specializations, or raising a skill from 0 to 6.
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CrimsonHawk
post Jun 2 2006, 01:17 AM
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Initiation does both now - you can only do it up to your natural magic attribute (So for the starting classes, the limit is always 6).

Your natural can only go to 6, your initiation can only go to 6 (and thus raise your magic by 6 points) but only if you already have all 6 points to start with. Think of it as a separate attribute that is limited by the value of your magic attribute.

Technically, you can initiate after the 6th time to gain extra options. A rating this high, however, is very, very, powerful. You are the sort that can get the notice of extraplanar beings and dragons and insect spirits and so on.

The SR book takes into consideration powerful but not neccessarily god-like characters. The Street Magic book will probably look into that to some extent.



the magic attrib is 6 max now? I thought you had to have 6 in order to initiate? hum I have to reread it again, and how does it work with magic adepts?

I guess most of these questions will be answered in street magic if it ever comes to print.
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Panzergeist
post Jun 2 2006, 01:22 AM
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A gyromount should require an entire cyberarm. After all, if it's just in the hand, how does it prevent the recoil from bending your elbow and shoulder and throwing your aim off? I think a gyromount must run through the entire cyberarm in order to stabilize it.
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emo samurai
post Jun 2 2006, 01:25 AM
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They're answered in the main rulebook; initiation can be as high as the current magic attribute, and no higher. So unless you have less than one essence, it's always possible to raise your magic high enough to initiate. If you have magic 6 and initiate grade 6, you could always just raise your magic one higher and raise the initiation cap to 7. In fact, here's the RAW paragraph from the book; you really need to read it more carefully.

QUOTE (p.189 SR4)
A character’s initiate grade cannot exceed her Magic attribute.
If a character’s Magic is reduced below her initiate grade, she loses
that level of initiation and the metamagic she gained with it.

Nowhere does it say "natural" Magic.
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Squinky
post Jun 2 2006, 01:26 AM
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QUOTE (Panzergeist)
A gyromount should require an entire cyberarm. After all, if it's just in the hand, how does it prevent the recoil from bending your elbow and shoulder and throwing your aim off? I think a gyromount must run through the entire cyberarm in order to stabilize it.

It's not a full size gyromount, it gives 3 points compared to a full sizes 6. It is described as weights and counterweights that pop out of the limb, so it isn't the same sort of system as a full harness.

If a limb has the capacity needed, it fits.
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Kanada Ten
post Jun 2 2006, 01:28 AM
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QUOTE
After all, if it's just in the hand, how does it prevent the recoil from bending your elbow and shoulder and throwing your aim off?

The same way it prevents bending your knee and jumping in the air throwing off your aim? A cyberhand isn't limited in movement the way a real hand is, IMO. It can hyperextend in every direction, meaning it can counter your motion in a variety of ways.
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Cold-Dragon
post Jun 2 2006, 01:38 AM
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Okay, I remembered wrong. I've been trying to get into SR games. That's not exactly easy in some places. :P Lack of use makes one rusty.

Initiation increases the cap you can raise it to then, but the max is 6 as per the attribute creation rules thingamajig for making characters (notice it costs you extra for that 6th point and all, like with the physical and mental stats). Nothing raises your magic above 6, not even positive qualities if I recall correctly.

The technical theory of mine is that the races can only hold so much potential before the magic would make you 'combust' (or mutate, or something potentially painful or awe inspiring). If you were to go to a non-metahuman standard (turning into a dragon, becoming paranormal) then one could say your potential is higher. As mentioned earlier, however, it costs a LOT to take your magic above 6. Magic is one of those things where learning can take years to develop (unless you're a very active mage), and that's probably part of the reason elves are commonly expected to be magical to some extent, since they got the years to do that (or they did before, now they are probably more likely born with the potential already, or they took the quik-sorc classes at the academy of pointy ears and wands).

Don't mind my elf-teasing - I think it's cute. And of course I'm rambling (which may just encourage one to buy the book than listen for me to ramble).
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emo samurai
post Jun 2 2006, 01:56 AM
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Dude, initiation raises the natural maximum. That's kind of the point of initation. Given enough karma, a random mage can have 15 initiation grades. As long as you have more than 6 magic, not natural magic, you can go above initiate grade 6.
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Cold-Dragon
post Jun 2 2006, 02:02 AM
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Fine, I'll reread the entire dang magic section again then. :P

I could have sworn it was otherwise, but we'll see...

- later -

*sighs* once again, I think Emo smacked me across the head with a wooden plank. By the wording...

QUOTE (189 of the SR4 under initiation)
A character’s initiate grade cannot exceed her Magic attribute. If a character’s Magic is reduced below her initiate grade, she loses
that level of initiation and the metamagic she gained with it.



And as per the magic attributes maximum...

QUOTE (also 189 @ a little lower)


An initiate’s natural maximum for the Magic attribute is 6
+ her grade of initiation. She will still have to pay normally to
increase her Magic attribute.



Granted, this provides good news and bad news to burnouts. If you don't burn out all the way, you can potentially train yourself back up to former potential, but it gets a bit more expensive along the way depending how far off the track you get and how you do it. Depending on whether or not you pay for your 'new' total or for your full out natural total (say you had a magic of 9, burned down to 4, but tried to raise it to 5 which then becomes a natural total of 10), you might be better burning out.

Of course, the price for paying for an attribute about things like burnout, major damage, etc, was one of those questioned things, so that part can be either way...and if anyone tells me I'm an idiot on that otherwise, I will pull out your duracells. :P I know that was an arguement at some point! (if you prove it through a book quote, however, you can keep your batteries. I'm annoyed enough with my magic fiasco as it is).
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 2 2006, 03:27 AM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)

Of course, the cost of going that high is astronomical, and there's almost certainly something better you can do with the karm besides going from initiate grade 6 to 7, requiring going from magic 6 to 7. IIRC that's a total of 42 karma (21 for initiating and 21 for raising magic). In other words, it's enough for 8 specializations, or raising a skill from 0 to 6.

...I don't know if it's that bad an investment particualrly where Adepts are concerned.

By the rules the maximum rating in a single Adept power </= Magic Attribute

For example an MA of say 10 can allow you to have up to:

10 levels of critical strike (that's +10 to your Unarmed DV at only .25 PP per rating)
5 levels of improved Combat ability (+5 to DP at .5 PP per rating)
10 levels of Improved abilities in Physical, Social, & Technical skills (at .25 PP per rating)
10 levels of Mystic Armour (+10 B/+10 I stackable w/worn armour at .5 PP per rating)

Also, none of the above powers are limited by Skill or attribute Caps.

After converting the original Kyoto Kid from SR3 with all the Karma, she's been awarded over the years I've played her, she now is a grade 5 initiate with an MA of 11.

Her primary skills and her attrubutes are also maxxed out.

[pardon any typos - PHP Spell wasn't working at the time I wrote this]
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wavydavy
post Jun 2 2006, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)

For example an MA of say 10 can allow you to have up to:

10 levels of critical strike (that's +10 to your Unarmed DV at only .25 PP per  rating)
5 levels of improved Combat ability (+5 to DP at .5 PP per rating)
10 levels of Improved abilities in Physical, Social, & Technical skills (at .25 PP per rating)
10 levels of Mystic Armour (+10 B/+10 I stackable w/worn armour at .5 PP per rating)

Also, none of the above powers are limited by Skill or attribute Caps.



Not sure about that.

Haven't got the PDF at work, but I'm fairly sure skill/attribute caps apply to adept powers like Improved Ability/Attribute. IIRC, it's explicit in the text, but I'll have to chase up the reference later.

Usually, the lower skill/attribute cap applies, with the magic rating cap applying to non-skill/attibutes based powers (like Mystic Armour and Critical Strike).

With Magic at 10, I think you could purchase +10 Improved Ability (Pistols) fine, but you could only use at most 5 dice of it (assuming Aptitude (Pistols) and Pistols 7) for 12 dice total.

Also, why have you got a different cap level for Improved Ability for Combat than for Technical/etc.? The cap is on the total level/rating of the power, not on the points spent on it. So your limit is the same for either, IMHO.

HTH

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James McMurray
post Jun 2 2006, 03:38 PM
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QUOTE (Cold-Dragon)
*sighs* once again, I think Emo smacked me across the head with a wooden plank. By the wording...

Hey! I said it first! :(

Kyoto Kid: Yeah, I was thinking about mages, not adepts. For adepts it's great.

You're a little offf on a couple of the the levels though. Improved Ability is limited to half the skill rating per the erratta.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Jun 2 2006, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (Samoth)
2. What is the benefit of having a commlink cybernetically installed? Just the fact that you don't have to carry it around? Also, what purpose do datajacks serve now?

Welcome to SR4!

One of the most useful is voice-less communication through the commlink. You can talk up a storm and the only one who'll hear is the poor sap on the other end of the call. You already mentioned the portability which is much more handy since the 2070 commlink is many-things-in-one compared to prior SR versions.

As for datajacks, they can be used to connect to non-wireless devices (a rarity in SR4) but the physcial connection means it's technically unhackable and completely secure at least between your head and what you're plugged into unless someone physically tampers with your line.

Neat part is, any character can be a hacker in SR4 and it costs zero essence with all the same benefits of a pure cyber hacker. Spending Essence for Matrix gear in SR4 pays for conveince and portability.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 2 2006, 05:15 PM
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QUOTE (James McMurray)

Kyoto Kid: Yeah, I was thinking about mages, not adepts. For adepts it's great.

You're a little offf on a couple of the the levels though. Improved Ability is limited to half the skill rating per the erratta.

...ooops forgot.

I should'a remembered since it was tied to skill rating in previous editions as well.

The one thing I do like In SR4 is that they dispensed with the magic loss for deadly wounds rule. With how costly it gets to increase your MA past 6 now that would be a real character crock.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Samoth
post Jun 2 2006, 05:23 PM
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Strictly numbers-wise, making a starting character (using a human in this example) with attributes less than 3, skills less than 3 or skill groups less than 2 is counterproductive in a BP:KP ratio. I was hoping that this edition would take a more becks-like approach to character creation to stop the min/maxer in me from thinking about how to get the most out of every single BP, but it didn't work like that. What other min/max ideas have been brought up? Links to threads would be great, but not necessary.
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James McMurray
post Jun 2 2006, 07:05 PM
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Becks is just a different system with different min max choices. Without going completely random or almost choice free there will always be almost room for min maxing.
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X-Kalibur
post Jun 2 2006, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE
1. Can a cyberarm gyromount be installed in a cyberhand, or is a full arm necessary?  I know the hand has enough capacity, but does the gyromount need reinforcements through the arm?


Going strictly by artwork in both SR4 and SR3 M&M it appears to be somewhere between what would fit in a hand and a forearm. House rule it I say.

QUOTE
2. What is the benefit of having a commlink cybernetically installed?  Just the fact that you don't have to carry it around?


Keep the comm in your head turned off unless you need it and keep an external one for show. Makes for a good emergency.

QUOTE
3. Is bioware avaiable in alpha/beta/delta like cyberware has been, or am I misreading the rules?


All bioware (INCLUDING CULTURED) can be bought in different grades. Cultured just means it has been grown and tailored for your body because they interact with your brain.

QUOTE
4. The rules say a character's maximum magic rating is (natural magic max [6] + initiations, but the initiations can not exceed the magic rating).  So the natural max magic is now 12?  What if I had a natural magic of 4 and an initiate level of 2 and wanted to increase my magic?  would I pay the cost of rasing my magic to 5, or would it cost as much as raising it to 8?


If your unaugmented (meaning no ess loss) magic was 4 and you wanted to raise it to 5, it would cost the normal amount to raise from 4 to 5. Initiation does not directly add a magic point, but merely increases how many you may have.

Hope that helps. :D
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Tekumel
post Jun 2 2006, 10:30 PM
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Cyber commlink is also good for a dual-lifestyle character. You know, the secret identity type. The non-cyber one is the public, "legal" profile...Joe Schmoe, nothing special. The cyber one can be easily hidden among other cyberware (hell, from the way the book describes it, I think mine's going to be built into/onto my datajack), for concealment purposes. Plus, if you can swing it, it gives you a plausible deniability if questioned. "What? There's a commlink built in my cyber? All I wanted installed was a jack... I'll have my surgeon's license for this! For all I know he's been snooping on me for the past 2 years!"
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