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> how do i deal with over powered PCs, 18D with 7 successes
Straight Razor
post Jun 18 2006, 03:53 AM
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simple enough question. i dont want to just throw them up against something that will insta-geek them. I'm wnating them to live through the game.

so far in the game i had a cyber-troll deal a 18D with 7 successes
and a dwarf mage 6D 9 successes
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Herald of Verjig...
post Jun 18 2006, 04:02 AM
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TN modifiers exist for a reason, stop giving them TNs of 2.
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bigdrewp
post Jun 18 2006, 04:07 AM
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Gravity is a good way to stop an overpowered character, or I should say that the ground is a good stop.
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Teulisch
post Jun 18 2006, 05:48 AM
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Are people using cover? what is visibility? range? wound penalties?

more importantly... how much karma have they accumulated with those characters? If you feel their getting 'too good', you may want to give them that one last big run, with enough pay to retire.... and start all new characters.

but sometimes, its luck. so, how many dice for what TN?
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Muzzaro
post Jun 18 2006, 06:14 AM
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Simple way would be, they wake up to a "new improved world™". Their cyber is now gimped compared to the latest stuff that's on the market. And oops, there's a problem when the players decide to get some upgrades. The stuff in them was done at a chop shop. They are lucky the stuff works, nevermind that they are alive! The chances of pulling the cyber out, putting new stuff in etc is nill. And to make matters worse, there's a whole batch of cheap-as-crud wired reflexes, a few times faster than the ones the PCs use, flooding the market. Everyone's getting them. A virus is making the rounds, trashing decks that it gets onto. The PC's decks get it (accident or deliberate?) and not only is their decks now decorative paper-weights, but it sent off bits of data to the virus creator. Who of course turns out to be a corp. Who now decide they want to blackmail the NPCs into doing some forlorn hope style dirty work for them.

Not to mention diseases, waking up married to a troll who turns out to be the daughter/son of the 'troll mafia', or general publicity. "Why yes we'd love be interviewed for a news article about the shadows of seattle!"

Failing that, if they start getting too "I shoot it with my crossbow!" and big-headed, kill half of them off.

I have the perfect "scenario" to kill off most of a group when they get to that level. The last run they did, that ended up with security guard casualties, comes back to haunt them. The relations of the dead security guards have banded together and with the corp pay-off and a whole lot of pity-partying, they managed to hire a decent group of runners to wack the group. And the runners are good. Any slackness on the PC's part, results in a dead runner.



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Vaevictis
post Jun 18 2006, 07:27 AM
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QUOTE (Muzzaro)
Simple way would be, they wake up to a "new improved world™". (...)

also known as, "Frag this sh*t, time to find a new GM."
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Ice Hammer
post Jun 18 2006, 07:39 AM
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I have had some very over powered PC's in my games. And I have found from experience that its really hard trying to overpower or out gun my PC's. So, I try my best to shift my focus away from trying to win the gun fight, to trying to out wit and be more clever than the PC's. Giving them multiple targets, distractions, possible opportunities to make the wrong choice, etc, could help deal with the situation. I found that I felt the most satisfied as the GM when I got my PC's to do themselves in with their own mistakes. Maybe that's something worth considering.
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Tiralee
post Jun 18 2006, 10:17 AM
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I think rather than say,"Help me stop my players from spanking the NPCs" the topic should read,"How did it get like this? Help!"

Nothing, except a very few NPC's in Shadowrun, are as overpowered as characters in other RPG's ("That-D20-game" a perfect example).

Sure, your Troll might have a reaction of 13, a quickness of 10 and a strength of 10 to the power 3 ->
It has to eat (Unless it has that digestion bioware), sleep (Or a sleep regulator) and move around in what is essentially, a hostile world.
The Troll you describe sounds like he's on the way to Cyberzombieism as it is - who does his maintenance? Himself, a team member? Unless you have a bucket of Nuyen and throw it at the characters every time you play, the dull act of living, upgrading skills, etc, will grind down that bleeding edge he so desperately maintains.

Don't just concentrate on "you have a target, what are your options?" As we all know the answer will be "A: Kill. B: Kill. C: Kill and eat. D: Try to kill, fail, send in the Face to negotiate".

Be a bastard - use the burgulary rules in the Sprawl Guide. Admittedly, the smarter members of my group have asked (and paid hand-over-fist) the nice mage to bind an elemental or two as anti-theft deterrents, but is that likely with your players?

Use the average-world stats: One in four people will be robbed. One in four will experience a violent crime. (Random Drive-bys will kill)
One in four will visit their street doc who looks sad when the player askes about that new upgrade he wants and asks the player to sit down for a sec..."You see Jim, it's about that lump, it's not Bioware..."

Shadowrun isn't just about having a troll that can cut a Jumbo jet in half. Sure, it's fun, don't get me wrong, it's also about having your players think 50-60 years in the future when the world's gone mad and what they do directs how and if they will live for the next few hours.


-Tir
Rant off.
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nezumi
post Jun 18 2006, 01:17 PM
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Make threats they can't shoot through. Remember, it's SHADOW RUN. If they are causing 18D damage, they are probably using neither correctly. A properly set-up facility with lots of passive defenses will make all their hardware worth nil unless they start using their brains. Now if they are actually planning out their runs well, thinking through stuff and problem solving AND causing 18D damage, well they're just very good runners. Up the challenge of the campaign.
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Rajaat99
post Jun 18 2006, 03:13 PM
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Play on their weaknesses as well as their stengths. It sounds like they deal a bunch of damage, but how well do they stealth? Swim? Drive? You could also have a run where the players aren't supposed to kill anyone, instead using their brain and social graces.
I did a run like that with my players and it turned out great. They were hired by a social elitest who was throwing a party at his million nuyen home and he knew that one of the people at the party was going to attempt to kill him. He didn't want to cancel the party, as that would make him look bad to the other social elites. So, he hired the runners to come to the party and find the person before they pulled the trigger. It was great.
My game has been going for 5 years, so I feel your pain. Groups of security gaurds with decent armor is a good choice also. My players hate it when they're out numbered 5 to 1. Also, making NPC's who have the same stats (or nearly so) as the players is a good choice too, they're not the only bad A Mo-Fo's in the world.
Hope these ideas help, good luck.
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Rock
post Jun 18 2006, 07:57 PM
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Someone they ran against in the past wants revenge. They hire a team with at least equal stats to your guys. They hire your guys through a dummy company and set up an ambush. IF your guys make it out of there, make sure they are banged up, any support is gone (houses blown up, contacts eliminated, big enough price on their heads that even long time associates are thinking about turning them in), and they are on the run.

Your guys have probably hit so many targets in the past that they can't ever be entirely certain who ambushed them and need to always be looking over their shoulders. IF they can crawl back up to their current level again, repeat the above process.

As a player, when it got to the point that my Combat Mage could float into a room, fireball everyone without breaking a sweat, and play a portable game system all at the same time, then I knew it was time to hang up the character. Either I was getting too powerful or the GM wasn't throwing enough challenges my way.
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Pendaric
post Jun 18 2006, 09:18 PM
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Shedim the ultimate karma reduction.

Perhapes the classic minimal colateral and zero casualty run.
The classic stealth run, similiar but harder than above.

Smart opersition!
Never up the fire power they wield, it will fall into the players hands, up the ruthless and anti player psycology tricks. Use drugs, use splat glue and freeze foam. Use slip spray, stun ball, thermo smoke and automatic suppressive fire. Threaten the PC's loved ones and contacts and don't be afraid to seriously damage the PC's equipment in the indiscriminate C4 fueled cross fire.

Hope that sparks your evil ideas mode.
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Wounded Ronin
post Jun 18 2006, 09:59 PM
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So the party can hit hard. That's realistic. I fail to see the problem. If they plan poorly the NPCs can hit them just as hard. Is there only one cyber troll in the world?

EDIT: Or, I just wrote a SR3 adventure which might appeal to this group. Have a beer, run it, and be happy: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=13451
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Rajaat99
post Jun 18 2006, 10:52 PM
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QUOTE (Wounded Ronin)
EDIT: Or, I just wrote a SR3 adventure which might appeal to this group. Have a beer, run it, and be happy: http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=13451

Shameless plugs, gotta love 'em.
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JesterX
post Jun 18 2006, 11:39 PM
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All those things were tested in my games in the past years... I've been playing with a LOT of peoples since first edition came out... It all worked... even in the worst case scenarios.

If the characters can do 18D, the enemies can do the same or better... That's the rule of "I have a gun bigger than yours™"

Kill one of them the same way they do... They'll start thinking twice of "getting in cover" once in a while.

Enemies DO have mages on their side too.

Think before your players. Put them in risks that their weapons won't compensate.

Try to limit karmas awards. If it's too easy, it means they should not get karma for that run... Give them karma only if they survive a challenge that is worth it.

Lower their salary/number of runs per months to the point that they will need to think twice before shooting a single bullet since it will have an impact on their lifestyle!

Nobody would hire runners with a bad reputation or runners that are hunted by autorities.

A panther assault cannon IS ILLEGAL... 'Nuff said...

Magic useage can be traced...

From what I can see, the party should quite dead by now... They can't keep low profile....

Try to limit the amount of combats unless absolutly necessary.

If the mage is giving you troubles... remember that they should be the first targets after the fully armed trolls...

If the mages uses munchkin spell combos such as "detect bullet/bullet barrier" or maintaining a powerful quickened spell/focus, just have a powerful spirit/elemental or even a mage strike a it in astral.

Give them dual natured critters.

Give them critters that are immuned to physical weapons...
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Glyph
post Jun 19 2006, 01:24 AM
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The Shadowrun world is full of insta-kill goodness. Shadowrunners are professional corporate espionage specialists - a shadowrunner who specializes in combat should be able to one-shot kill nearly anyone that he gets the drop on.

Big deal. If killing one NPC or cluster of them is all that they need to do to complete the run, then you're being too easy on them. You don't need to have someone betray them, have their cyberware get infected with nano-bugs, or any other kind of killjoy GM fiat B.S.

Simply add to the number of the cannon fodder types, and have them use some elementary tactics. They should be using cover, not clustering together, and doing things like hit-and-run attacks, or calling for reinforcements. Use the normal modifiers for things like light, cover, and movement. Have some sensible security measures such as enemy mages hiding behind one-way glass, spotlights trained on intruders, etc. The PCs should still be able to get through it, but they should sweat a bit more, and maybe take a few light wounds.
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Birdy
post Jun 19 2006, 09:46 PM
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Ask yourself WHO is the problem. It may be YOU!

If the players have fun with their current characters and you have not, it's you who is the problem. Tell the players so they can find a GM that suits their interests.
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Platinum
post Jun 19 2006, 11:51 PM
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QUOTE (Straight Razor)
simple enough question. i dont want to just throw them up against something that will insta-geek them. I'm wnating them to live through the game.

so far in the game i had a cyber-troll deal a 18D with 7 successes
and a dwarf mage 6D 9 successes

Can you please tell us the circumstances of how this happened?

What kind of gear are they using?

Against the troll you need to use Magic.

Against the dwarf you need to have him shot multiple times in the same round so you drain his combat pool. You need to use multiple opponents that have good cover.... use grenades and damage their armour and gear. Remember to lower the armour values with each hit.

If you want them to really have a wake up.... run them in bug city. That way in there they can pull out when they have enough.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 20 2006, 12:21 AM
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QUOTE (bigdrewp)
Gravity is a good way to stop an overpowered character, or I should say that the ground is a good stop.

...I like to refer to this as "the abrupt change in delta vee" method.
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Kyoto Kid
post Jun 20 2006, 12:29 AM
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...one word

Cyberzombie.

Had a character with a 19 reaction who always beat out my NPCs. That was until a couple of completely maxxed out Cyberzombies showed up in one session (which were part of the plot all from the campaign's beginning). One of the CZs & he rolled the same initiative result. He "thought" he was going to go first until I smiled and told him the CZ had a Reaction of 20.

The look on his face....priceless.
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Kagetenshi
post Jun 20 2006, 12:39 AM
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QUOTE (Straight Razor @ Jun 17 2006, 10:53 PM)
so far in the game i had a cyber-troll deal a 18D with 7 successes
and a dwarf mage 6D 9 successes

Cool.

Were you going to tell us why your PCs are overpowered at some point?

QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
...I like to refer to this as "the abrupt change in delta vee" method.

So jerk is your answer? ;)

~J
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Rajaat99
post Jun 20 2006, 04:24 AM
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QUOTE (Birdy)
Ask yourself WHO is the problem. It may be YOU!

If the players have fun with their current characters and you have not, it's you who is the problem. Tell the players so they can find a GM that suits their interests.

Stats don't make a fun game, stories do.
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Tiger Eyes
post Jun 20 2006, 04:56 AM
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When we had a terribly overpowered group, our GM attacked us with... ourselves. We got pegged by some nasty magic (think free spirits) who started messing with our brains. We had accidentally released a group of the nasty things and they were... ah, appreciative. Characters started having very very horrible nightmares. Most characters started having delusions. We never could figure out who was seeing what was real (for example, two characters driving down the street, one character sees a guy pull up an assault rifle. He shoots him. The other character sees an old guy with an umbrella get splattered all over his bus stop...). This happened over and over again. Our GM didn't explain or suggest that they were delusions. When we asked, he'd say that (Bob or whoever) truly believed he'd seen a gun.

Man, we were jumping at shadows. Literally. Ended up with all these super tough shadowrunners huddled in a hotel room sweating, afraid of each other and ourselves. Doubting our own reality and what we were seeing/experiencing. Couldn't sleep. Had to actually rely on our wits and not our high-level initiate mages and our delta-ware cyber'd street sams.

Humbled us all. And we loved it. Still talk about that game to this day.

So, anyway, the idea is, if they can go up against any opposition you throw at them, remove the opposition. Put 'em in a situation where guns and initiative just don't do any good. We never got near any of the spirits. Just their flunkies. And that took a lot of work. The payout was our sanity. :D

(And yes, our GM had led us up to this point through several previous adventures. He didn't just make it up 'cause he was tired of us blasting our way through corp facilities without breaking a sweat)
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Ivanhoe
post Jun 20 2006, 12:31 PM
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I have some fairly powerful PCs in my campaign. I wanted to show them one thing or two. They were doing runs for AA corps, top gangs, they didn't fear anything in the street anymore. I decided it was time for them to see what a AAA run was. They had to take information from an Aztlan military base. We speak of something VERY secure. With no deckers they knew they had no chances. No worries, the Johnson had planned this for a long time : he gave them passes, they were IT technicians and were able to enter... without a single piece of equipement. No multi-launcher, no knife, no armor at all. They felt naked. They saw the whole area patrolled by heavily-armored guards with laser guns and spirits (it's not munchkin, it is a normal level of military security) They kept it low, found a few things, here a blade, here some chemicals... All in all they agreed it was a lot of fun and not a single shot was fired.

It was no kind of "punishment" or anything, but I just wanted to make them clear what kind of opposition they would run into if they planned to enter, Rambo-style, in a AAA security zone.
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James McMurray
post Jun 20 2006, 01:05 PM
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QUOTE (Rajaat99)
QUOTE (Birdy @ Jun 19 2006, 09:46 PM)
Ask yourself WHO is the problem. It may be YOU!

If the players have fun with their current characters and you have not, it's you who is the problem. Tell the players so they can find a GM that suits their interests.

Stats don't make a fun game, stories do.

Not if you're the type of gamer that has fun with stats. :)

--

I'd suggest taking a page (or 30) from Ravager of Time. It's an old D&D module but has great potential for challenging even the most powerful PCs.

In the begining of the adventure the party is trapped and magically manipulated. Their life force is used to create duplicates of themselves. These duplicates are permanently hasted (+1 IP +2 Reaction in SR). They otherwise have all of the abilities of their originals and are 100% loyal to the witch that created them. The problem is that their drain on the life force is so strong that the victim is left in a body that is approximately 75 years old, and has about a month to find and kill their duplicate or die themselves.

The adventure even has some tables to roll on to see what mental or physical changes old age has on you. The NPC in the group (a sorcerer) became absent minded. When they were buffing up for an assault his job was to teleport them in so they could attack. At the last second he forgot what he was doing but decided he was hungry and took everyone to his favorite sausage stand. :)
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