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> AR Initiative passes, The battle rages on!
What do you think about IP augmentations like Wired Reflexes and Increase Reflexes the spell affecting your AR Initiative passes. This has been continued from the "My Wireless Rulings" thread for reference.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 20 2006, 10:50 PM
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In order to clairfy what has already been said for those who haven't been following or lost track I think I'm going to summarize the points made by either side in a post here. To be honest, I forget what all has been said and am having a hard time trying to rebut everything. The whole debate has become rebutals of rebutals of rebutals and I think this will help get it back on track.
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Serbitar
post Jul 20 2006, 10:52 PM
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My Vote:

Rules say Yes, I say No (because I dont like this).
So I voted YES.
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X-Kalibur
post Jul 20 2006, 11:05 PM
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My vote: it is implied in several sections of the book that VR is always faster than AR. Most of the quotes I used to support this position were around page 227-229.

I feel that making AR potentially stronger than VR without any risks also goes against the spirit of the game where countless deckers have died from Black IC.
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AngelWuff
post Jul 20 2006, 11:08 PM
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I personally am voting no, but to keep it simple I'm just gonna let people take one AR turn even if between initiative passes from wired or whatever. I feel it's mostly the awkwardness of AR since it's probably going through a 'renrakusoft matrix explorer v5' or something. Also play balance. you wanna go fast, you get yourself immersed. But I could see it going the other way too if one wanted...
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booklord
post Jul 20 2006, 11:13 PM
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The rules do state that your physical reaction and initiative is used for AR.

However I prefer to follow the spirit of the rules, not the letter. The spirit is that VR is "lightning fast" compared to AR. In addition it's a balance issue. AR hackers would be immune to Black attack programs and on a nearly equal footing with VR hackers. (VR +2 bonus be countered by the hyper-fast AR hackers immunity to wound modifiers and greater speed )
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Glayvin34
post Jul 20 2006, 11:33 PM
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Most likely due to my noobdom and lack of previous SR version play, I see ASIST as a less-than-perfect method of DNI. It takes thought commands as fast as 3 IPs, which is not as fast as a metahuman can go. So if you use something other than ASIST, like trodes or a datajack coupled with Wired Reflexes, you are actually able input information faster than if an ASIST module was interacting with your thoughts via VR. So I voted YES.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 20 2006, 11:35 PM
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Damn. I shouldn't have phrased the options like that, but I think everyone gets the point. You're either for or against it.
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Wiseman
post Jul 20 2006, 11:39 PM
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I'm wholly against it and I think the rules clearly imply it wasn't meant to be.

I'm going to the best I can to sum it up with page references. Lets start with some background stuff to know.

Page 132, Initiative Score
"To determine a characters Initiative score, make an Initiative test using his Initiative attribute. (A character's Initiative Attribute is the sum of Reaction and Inuition"

Page 134, Switching Initiative
"IF the number of Initiative Passess available to a character decreases, then that character immediately loses any extra initiative passes for that turn he might have had"

Point 1 - Hackers can only attain the speed of 3 IPs* in the Matrix by going past the safe signal levels, risking their life, and using Hot Sim

Page 229, Hot Sim
"A Hot sim interface has been modified to bypass the simsense peak levels that protect your nervous system from damaging biofeedback.

and also, same page, same paragraph, five lines down

"It may seem like sheer madness to redline this way, as even random line noise could potentially be translated into lethal amounts of feedback, but many hackers rely on the booset signal strength to provide them with the speed they need."

Point 2 - It is implied numerous times throughout the matrix section that VR is faster than AR

page 228, Virtual Reality, near the end
"Most importantly for hackers, however VR is fast - you move at digital speed, which can be the extra edge you need while pulling a hack job"

Note that this applys to both cold and hot sim, as someone mentioned the +2 dice bonus accounts for this.

another quote from the introduction to the matrix, page 205, ...The Wireless World

"He immediately shot down the wireless link and launched an array of automated routines against the network's firewall, probing for any number of known exploitable flaws with the speed and hyper-intensity that only hot sim could provide"

Point 3 - AR and VR are matrix actions and as such fall under a seperate initiative and passes, see switching initiative above.

page 230 Cybercombat
"Cybercombat can take place separately from, or concurrent, with actions in the real world"

concurrent but not the same, or else why the further distinction.

Matrix Initiative
"If your using augmented reality, you're acting at regular meat-body speeds - use your physical Reaction and Initiative as normal (see Initiative, p 132). You can choose between interacting with the physical or the augmented World (the Matrix) with each action."

Ah to the "meat" of it at last. First off note the phrase "regular meat-body speeds", further annotated with showing only Reaction and Initiative (no mention of bonus's, magic, or cyberware) and NO reference to initiative passes. Default is 1 IP

Regular more than alludes to nothing modified. Even after they explain what attributes to use they throw in the word Normal. Normal isn't normal to your individual character, its normal to everyone, 1 IP. Not everyone has Wired Reflexes. Now some argue here that normal and regular are too hazy. I think its plain english, so lets try a term they define, Meat.

Meat if looked up in the Index says see page 216
page 216, Matrix Jargon (Cont.) sidebar

"Meat - Slang term to refer to either an unwired individual, or the physical part of a hacker that gets left behind while surfing the matrix in full VR"

Funny how it says "unwired individual", just odd that one. Can't be talking about the second definition, as "regular meat-body speeds" was under the AR initiative section.


Page 230-231, Virtual Initiative
"You also get an extra Initiative Pass (two total)"

An extra more than what? than your meat-body speeds? If so then that implies you only get 1 IP since they added an extra for a total of two. If Wired Reflexes adds also why did they cap it at two, or why did they say Extra.

and finally

Page 230, Agent, IC, and Sprite Initiative
Because they act at digital speeds, they receive two extra Initiative Passes (3 total).

Now why would they use the word Extra and (three total) on sprites and agents? because the standard is 1

In summary I contend that the descriptive fluff under Wired Reflexes was never intended to therefore do "everything" fast, especially in another environment such as the matrix. Wired characters cannot build or run faster, and regardless how fast their brain/wires are going, they cannot get a better AR speed because they are using a limited simsense/Safe feed at safe signal levels. No amount of arm waving will help a limited connection.

I further contend that if said character with WR (Wired Reflexes) interfaced (not simply observed) or observed in detail in AR would forfeit any remaining IP (Initiative Passes) as written for switching initiative.

The 1 IP allowed for AR may be split into physical or matrix ACTIONS. Two simple or one complex.

Now despite all this mounting evidence, my major point comes down to balance. Bypassing the implied matrix cap (3 passes) AND being immune to black ice demeans the RAW for Technomancers or light cyber hackers who can never attain the same degree of speed & protection. It is sometimes more important to interpurt the intent of the rules and balance of the game rather than what lacking text may allow for.

Having written this terribly long summary, I end with a nod of respect to all who have/are/will participate in this discussion. I'm not attempting to demand how others play or demean their opinions, rather simply to share my views, opinions, and research. :spin:
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GrinderTheTroll
post Jul 20 2006, 11:49 PM
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...which all boils down to you can take 1 AR action per Pass. You get more Passes, you get more actions.

If you are spending Passes between AR and Combat you be less effective in both areas if you split up your actions. You could focus on pure AR but be vulnerable to Combat, or focus on Combat and let the AR world slip away.

It's not that over-balancing IMO considering the pros and cons of AR vs. VR.
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athros
post Jul 20 2006, 11:50 PM
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Having to get set up to run my own game has caused me to read the book more closely, and I have come up with the same research as Wiseman.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 12:23 AM
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Points made in favor of including the IP augmentations of implants/magic while using the AR interface:

+RAW reasons - The book does say that IPs can be used in AR. AR intiative works just like physical initiative right down to IPs and the implants/magic that augments them.
A Reference:
-Augmented Initiative subsection (pg. 230): "If you're using augmented reality you're moving at meat-body speeds -- use your phyiscal Reaction and Intuition as normal (see Initiative, p. 132). You can choose between interacting with the physical world or the augmented world with each action."

+The Value of an IP - ....does not change between IPs used in the Matirx and IPs used in real life. That means a Hot-sim hacker (3IP) and a Wired2 gunman (3IP) take equivalent amounts of time to perform their actions (1 second). Most Matrix actions don't take anymore time to do in AR then VR. There are a few, though.

+What IP agumentation IS - IP augmentation makes your mind and reflexes faster. It does not make you a faster runner because there is a racial cap on movement and it doesn't make you smarter. Stupid people with 4IPs just think of stupid things quicker :|. That having been said, IPs make it so you can interface with AR faster than someone 'slower' than you (less IPs). I guarantee you that if two equally good hackers competed, one with IP augs and one without, the augmented one would out hack the other. He can just react to information faster.

+Game Balance remains - Augs are balanced against their consequences. VR hackers only spend 50-350 nuyen once and are vulnerable to feedback. The feedback balances the really cheap IPs and bonus for Hot Sim. Essense/Nuyen cost balances the Black IC immunity and IPs given by implants. BP/karma costs balance the adept power. Sustaining mods and required skills balance the spell Inc. Reflexes. After all that no hacker isn't paying for his bonus IPs. And he is by no means an invincible hacker. The sidebar on pg. 231 even says that programs suffer from Damage Mods, so AR users can still be tripped up.


Points made against using IP augmentations in AR:

+Game Balance - Using IP augmentation in AR can give you a one up on VR hackers IP wise (hot sim only goes to 3 total, other augs reach 4 total) AND exclude you from Black IC effects. Hotsimmers are left in the dust, which is unfair.

+Fluff text (VR is fast) - The text says that VR is faster than AR. If IP aug's are used this becomes untrue. There are several places where said fluff text alludes to VR being faster than AR ever could be.
Examples:
-Hot sim sub-section (pg. 229): "Under hot-sim you become hyper alert as every sense and every neuron becomes sensitive to the translated machine code streaming through the Matrix." "...your persona translates a wider degree of data that simply could not be percieved through the basic senses alone."

-VR Access mode section (pg. 228): "Virtual Reality is a drastically different experience than AR. Someone interfacing with augmented reality while he walks down the street operates at different speeds from someone tearing through the Matrix with his mind alone."

-Virtual Reality entry (pg. 228): "...VR is fast -- you move at digital speeds, which can be the extra edge you need while pulling a hack job."

+Teh Rulez - The rules don't take say that augmentations can be used in AR. (sorry, i'll go back and fill this in when I understand how.)

+Spirt of the Rules (Force 10)- Using IP augs in AR changes the whole feel of the game. Hacking is bland if there's little risk and the Matrix changes significantly if hackers are the people safest from biofeedback, even though what they do is highly illegal and dangerous. Feedback adds to the tension felt by the group when a hack job is going down. Suspense elevate the gaming experience, Wired hacker kills that.

[FONT=Courier]NOTE: there are other arguements, of course. The ones above are the main ones. Every other comment is just a branch of these or a rebutal to one of them.

House rules suggestions made (person who suggested it):

Physical reaction has a limited affect on augmented reality initiative. If the player chooses to take an Augmented Reality action during an Initiative pass then subtract his Reaction from his initiative for that initiative pass. In addition he forfeits the right to take an action in any of the remaining initiative passes that combat turn. This is the best I can think of for limiting Augmented Reality initiative without resorting to more dice rolls. (booklord, quoted from the "My Wireless Rulings thread)

AR actions take place only in IP 1. Other passes cannot be used for AR actions. (Serbitar, quoted from his "Serbitar's House-rules Package V1.8")

AR users are restricted to one matrix pass, but they can do whatever they want in the meat world with their other actions.
So one matrix complex action or two matrix simple actions per turn, but I don't care if they're mixed in with their physical actions.
(Moon-Hawk, quoted from "My Wireless Rulings" conversation)


I might go back and add to this later
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Wiseman
post Jul 21 2006, 01:24 AM
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QUOTE
+The Value of an IP - ....does not change between IPs used in the Matirx and IPs used in real life. That means a Hot-sim hacker (3IP) and a Wired2 gunman (3IP) take equivalent amounts of time to perform their actions (1 second). Most Matrix actions don't take anymore time to do in AR then VR. There are a few, though.


take more time? nope, but page 230 says they're seperate or concurrent, NOT the same action types. AR is Matrix action, anything other than observing the matrix means you using the Matrix Actions on the Matrix Action Bar and/or Cybercombat. This is not the physical world

QUOTE
+What IP agumentation IS - IP augmentation makes your mind and reflexes faster. It does not make you a faster runner because there is a racial cap on movement and it doesn't make you smarter. Stupid people with 4IPs just think of stupid things quicker . That having been said, IPs make it so you can interface with AR faster than someone 'slower' than you (less IPs). I guarantee you that if two equally good hackers competed, one with IP augs and one without, the augmented one would out hack the other. He can just react to information faster.



Your right it does, in the physical only. Wired Reflexes wasn't liberty for your guy to suddenly be the best/fastest at everything. the Fast part...thats fluff. the +3 reaction bonus and bonus passes are just that. bonus, not regular or normal.

QUOTE
+Game Balance remains - Augs are balanced against their consequences. VR hackers only spend 50-350 nuyen once and are vulnerable to feedback. The feedback balances the really cheap IPs and bonus for Hot Sim. Essense/Nuyen cost balances the Black IC immunity and IPs given by implants. BP/karma costs balance the adept power. Sustaining mods and required skills balance the spell Inc. Reflexes. After all that no hacker isn't paying for his bonus IPs. And he is by no means an invincible hacker. The sidebar on pg. 231 even says that programs suffer from Damage Mods, so AR users can still be tripped up.


The cost varies because hackers expose themselves to the same risk a sam does with a bullet, when going that fast. Thats why its cheaper, now getting in front a gun is already dangerouos, being faster at it is more expensive. They're going that fast in digital land, your doing it in real life. Real life however isn't the Matrix. as for wound damage, thats damage mods from the Matrix Condition Monitor.

Are you implying there is still some risk in the last sentence? I mean yea, but you can't go safe and fast without removing the barriers that AR and Cold Sim have put there. Being immune to Black IC and able to walk around (free action) and interface with the matrix is the intent and the balance. Balanced is lost when a Wired Sam can buy a commlink and programs with a few skills (or skillsofts) and out move/hack the matrix better than the hacker or worse the technomancer as intended.

QUOTE
+RAW reasons - The book does say that IPs can be used in AR. AR intiative works just like physical initiative right down to IPs and the implants/magic that augments them.
A Reference:
-Augmented Initiative subsection (pg. 230): "If you're using augmented reality you're moving at meat-body speeds -- use your phyiscal Reaction and Intuition as normal (see Initiative, p. 132). You can choose between interacting with the physical world or the augmented world with each action."


Actions, not Initiative Passes. So I have a Meat (or Unwired, page 218)-Body thats regular at 1 IP. What do you have? A non-regular Wired-Body Normal Initiative + Bonus Reaction + Bonus IP's

How the hell does the RAW say that.
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Phobos
post Jul 21 2006, 01:38 AM
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'voted possible, though I still think we have a case of major-league snafu here.

My solutiion : you can go multi-IP AR - but only if you really act using your physical reflexes.
So if you go AR via DNI, you're struck with the usual speed of one - your thoughts just don't speed up enough to help. You can use your other actions normally in a physical way.
If you really do the action using movement - that is, via AR Gloves and physical point-and-click, THEN you can make use of Wired Reflexes in AR mode. Downside to it : you're dancing and pointing around in a way that would probably look VERY weird to any onlooker.

And of course, prolonged use of hyper-reflexes will cause all those nice little symptoms listed for cyberwear stress and side-effects as listed in M&M.

At least doping it this way prevents collision with either fluff or rules, and has the potential for lots of VERY fun scenes :D
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 01:39 AM
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I'm really freak'n tired of repeating myself. There will never be any headway here, on either side. I think I'm done. Someone else explain to Wiseman and friends what I've been saying. I know hobgoblin has been trying. Keep on fighting brother.

Wiseman. booklord. I am bowing out. I can't keep having the same conversation daily. It is no fun anymore.

Let me be on record that the whole time I tried arguing the point I did not agree with. It was difficult, but fun for a while. I'm going to go kill my "meat-body". Perhaps I'll drive my house into a lake.
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Wiseman
post Jul 21 2006, 01:42 AM
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pretty burnt myself. Its all on record somewhere. Let the masses decide what they would.

It was good for me to cut my teeth on the book so to speak. Can't say I regret it.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 01:44 AM
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Me either. I do prefer Moon-Hawk's take on it above. The rule in yellow, that is.
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BlueRondo
post Jul 21 2006, 02:26 AM
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QUOTE
+What IP agumentation IS - IP augmentation makes your mind and reflexes faster. It does not make you a faster runner because there is a racial cap on movement and it doesn't make you smarter. Stupid people with 4IPs just think of stupid things quicker. That having been said, IPs make it so you can interface with AR faster than someone 'slower' than you (less IPs). I guarantee you that if two equally good hackers competed, one with IP augs and one without, the augmented one would out hack the other. He can just react to information faster.


QUOTE
Cold sim is standard, legal VR. When you are fully immersed
in virtual reality you operate at the speed of thought.

Shadowrun 4, p. 229


I agree with Samaels' description of what an IP is; it allows you to react to information faster. In other words, it lets you think faster (though not necessarily better.) It seems to me that people in favor of using additional IPs in AR are using the argument that, due to the wired-hacker's cyberware, he can not only wave his AR gloves around very quickly, but he can also perceive, process, and react to AR information very quickly (if he couldn't, I don't think the fastest hands in the world would be enough to warrant additional IPs.)

But using the "more IPs = faster thinking" perspective, and considering the fact that a cold sim module operates at the "speed of thought," then wouldn't the extra IPs from the cyberware also apply to VR use? If the cyberware lets you think faster in the real world, shouldn't it also allow you to think faster while operating in VR? On top of the extra IPs from the cyberware, the cold sim would grant an additional IP to represent the fact that information is passing directly between the matrix and the brain (bypassing the sensory output component of AR.) The hot sim would grant 2 additional IP's to represent the removed "speed limit" of the cold sim (I am assuming that the cold sim's "speed limit" is high enough that it wouldn't slow down a wired-hacker with 4 IPs.)

Applying additional IPs from cyberware to both AR and VR seems to solve some fluff issues. A "normal" cold-sim user (2 IP's) operating at the standard speed of thought is still going to be slower than an ultra-wired AR user with hyper-thinking capabilities (3 or 4 IP's). However, between any two hackers with the same thinking speeds, VR will always have an edge over AR.

Of course, this would lead to wired hackers getting potentially 5 or 6 actions in VR, which I imagine would kill game balance in one area or more. That said, for consistency's sake, it seems to me that additional IPs from cyberware and the like should be applied to either both AR and VR, or neither. In the interest of game balance, I am leaning towards neither.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 02:37 AM
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Wow, you spelled my name right.

The IPs would cap at 4 if sim-mods and other aug's stacked. Too bad this all makes very little logical sense.
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ShadowDragon
post Jul 21 2006, 02:37 AM
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I'm against it, but the RAW seems clear to me that physical IPs work with AR. That's what houserules are for :D
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BlueRondo
post Jul 21 2006, 02:46 AM
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QUOTE
The IPs would cap at 4 if sim-mods and other aug's stacked. Too bad this all makes very little logical sense.


Well, as far as I know, the 4 IP cap is just an arbitrary cap for game balance purposes. Disregarding the IP cap, do you agree with the principle that that if cyber/adept bonus IPs apply to AR, they should apply to VR as well?
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TBRMInsanity
post Jul 21 2006, 03:49 AM
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It all depends on how you play AR. If AR is just an interactive overlay to the physical world then real world initiative boosters will work with AR (because nothing will have changed). If you play as if AR is a layer between the matrix and the physical world then initiative boosters will not work (as they boost the physical body not the virtual one). I like to see AR as the astral perception of the Matrix and as such you initiative is the same as if you were unplugged. So initiative boosters will work as there are boosting your physical self.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 04:23 AM
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QUOTE (BlueRondo)
QUOTE
The IPs would cap at 4 if sim-mods and other aug's stacked. Too bad this all makes very little logical sense.


Well, as far as I know, the 4 IP cap is just an arbitrary cap for game balance purposes. Disregarding the IP cap, do you agree with the principle that that if cyber/adept bonus IPs apply to AR, they should apply to VR as well?

OH, no I didn't mean your idea didn't make sense! You do make a very good point.

Could be that similar mods (+1 IP and another +1 IP) speed up certain parts of the brain. If you get two equal ones the just overlap because that part of the brain can't get any faster.

I'm used to D&D where similar bonuses don't stack anyway. Made things pretty simple. Is it said explicitly in the book that bonuses just don't stack unless otherwise stated? The sr4 book, that is?
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Jul 21 2006, 06:59 AM
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There are three kind of Initative rating in SR4: physical, astral and VR.
One of them applies, the RAW state you use physical initative with AR.

Everything else is whish-it-was bullshit, trying to be proven by drawing assumptions from reinterpreting fluff wording.
Houserule it away if you don't like it.
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Samaels Ghost
post Jul 21 2006, 12:44 PM
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QUOTE
There are three kind of Initative rating in SR4: physical, astral and VR.
One of them applies, the RAW state you use physical initative with AR.

Everything else is whish-it-was bullshit, trying to be proven by drawing assumptions from reinterpreting fluff wording.
Houserule it away if you don't like it.


That is exactly what I was saying all along, right? Convoluted and longwinded, yes, but that's what I thought I was saying. The RAW says it can be done. The question is SHOULD it be run like that.
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Wiseman
post Jul 21 2006, 12:59 PM
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VR isn't an action type. Its Physical, Astral, and Matrix

AR is matrix (all its actions are listed as Matrix Actions)


The RAW doesn't say anything one way or another. I've been through the combat, the matrix, and all the cyberware at least 50 times. Nothing specifically states anything, its all open to interpertation. Its implied that VR is the fastest around, Its implied that WR's bonus passes add to physical passes as would be normal for physical actions. Hell we should call the RAW the IRAW (Implied Rules as Written)

Everyone will have to make up their own mind. I don't even look at this thread as a debate more than a fact finding panel of gamers. So if you want to cast your vote one way or another do so, If you can find something *new* to add I'm sure some fresh perspective is welcome.

Lets avoid re-arguing the same points as samael said and keep in mind, no matter how concrete it may seem to any individual (for or against), its really nothing more than an opinion right now.
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