IPB

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

 
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> Karma, in character, How to discuss karma in character?
De Badd Ass
post Sep 15 2006, 07:44 PM
Post #1


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 619
Joined: 18-April 03
From: The UV Nexus
Member No.: 4,474



Do Shadowrun characters, particularly the awakened (including technomancerrs), understand the concept of karma "in character"? Players budget, save, and spend karma for their characters -- for things like spells, complex forms, bonding, binding, initiating, etc.. What do the characters think they are doing?

How do you handle this? Do your characters discuss karma costs? Do you use some kind of "in character" metaphor for karma?

I used to think discussing karma was metagaming. Now I am not so sure.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Serbitar
post Sep 15 2006, 07:45 PM
Post #2


Running Target
***

Group: Members
Posts: 1,498
Joined: 4-August 05
From: ADL
Member No.: 7,534



You dont. There is no such thing as Karma. Karma is just a RPG concept to allow fast character progression and award players for runs.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post Sep 15 2006, 07:48 PM
Post #3


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,094
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



Karma can be experience, time involvement (learning stuff), or personal energy or even lifeforce put into something (i.e. to bind a spell).

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
ronin3338
post Sep 15 2006, 07:51 PM
Post #4


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 314
Joined: 25-February 06
Member No.: 8,307



Karma is a nebulous representation of time and effort.

For example, the karma spent to learn a spell would be "in character", long nights of studying, trying to figure out the new formula, looking stuff up online, asking your teacher (if you have one) questions, etc.

Learning a new skill like Pistols would be time spent at the range, getting familiar with the weapon, assembling/cleaning, etc.

Edit: Curses Thanee! Curses to you and your quick responses! :P
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
knasser
post Sep 15 2006, 07:53 PM
Post #5


Shadow Cartographer
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,737
Joined: 2-June 06
From: Secret Tunnels under the UK (South West)
Member No.: 8,636



You do.

You have to. There are rules for trading karma with spirits in return for various toys or favours. You need to know what it means when you say you're bonding with a foci. Some creatures can now even drain it from others.

My answer is that karma has several parallels and you have to use different descriptions according to the use it's put to. In the case of trading with spirits it's nice because you can use a very vague term like life energy. Following on from that, you could say that having given some of your life energy away you no longer have the will or determination to carry on with that exercise regime you keep planning (attribute increase). For the samurai who is building up his skills, he can say karma represents a mix of time and determination to improve himself. We don't just depend on time and energy to improve ourselves, or else we all be highly successful genius athletes by now - we also need motivation, a kick up the arse from circumstance or the insight of experience. Karma from a run represents this.

Best thing to do is keep an array of interpretations open and mix and match them as needed. You should be able to represent it in any number of ways and find links between them (e.g. spirit energy drain stealing away from your will to train). Foci bonding costs would could represent both for example, according to taste.

-HTH,

-K.

EDIT: Curses to you ronin3338 and Thanee with your quick quick responses. :(
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
De Badd Ass
post Sep 15 2006, 08:01 PM
Post #6


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 619
Joined: 18-April 03
From: The UV Nexus
Member No.: 4,474



QUOTE (ronin3338 @ Sep 15 2006, 03:51 PM)
Karma is a nebulous representation of time and effort.

For example, the karma spent to learn a spell would be "in character", long nights of studying, trying to figure out the new formula, looking stuff up online, asking your teacher (if you have one) questions, etc.

Learning a new skill like Pistols would be time spent at the range, getting familiar with the weapon, assembling/cleaning, etc.

That explains how you spend karma in Shadowrun; not how you earn it. You don't earn any karma doing those things. You can practice all you want; your pistol skill won't get any better until you earn karma.

IRL: you earn "karma" doing the things you describe. Extra-curricular activities are not required.


EDIT: Thanks, everybody, for your quick responses! :)
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Slithery D
post Sep 15 2006, 08:17 PM
Post #7


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 750
Joined: 9-August 06
Member No.: 9,059



I think the best way to align the game mechanic of Karma with "real life" is to consider it a measure of life experience. It helps you assimilate/learn new things. How? Several ways. Comparison - little lessons from overcoming other problems, whether similar or not, help you get insight into a new subject. "Freshness" - ever hit a wall when you're studying or working on your tennis serve? Go out and do something else, and not just play a Halo marathon. You need real experiences to "flush" your stumbling block.

Since NPCs can give Karma to free spirits, they must be earning it or something similar, too. Presumably a researcher earns Karma by making a new discovery, writing a report on it under deadline, etc. A new mother earns Karma by resolving a new baby disaster. (To push her Diaper Changing skill to 3, no doubt.) Everyone earns a point of Karma by taking a vacation to a new location. Extra if their bag gets lost and they are inventive in overcoming the obstacle. Etc.

So what are they giving up when the spend it? A certain enthusiasm for self improvement, ambition, and/or mental flexibility, I suppose. You've studied hard to improve, now its time to put the books down in the library (or gun at the firing range) and get back to regular life and your regular job, overcoming some obstacles that aren't rote and controlled.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Thanee
post Sep 15 2006, 08:24 PM
Post #8


jacked in
**********

Group: Admin
Posts: 9,094
Joined: 26-February 02
Member No.: 463



QUOTE (De Badd Ass)
That explains how you spend karma in Shadowrun; not how you earn it. You don't earn any karma doing those things. You can practice all you want; your pistol skill won't get any better until you earn karma.

That's the metagame aspect of Karma.

Nothing prevents you from granting Karma for a period of training (best specifically to be used only for what has been trained ;)).

Bye
Thanee
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
knasser
post Sep 15 2006, 08:51 PM
Post #9


Shadow Cartographer
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,737
Joined: 2-June 06
From: Secret Tunnels under the UK (South West)
Member No.: 8,636



QUOTE (De Badd Ass)

That explains how you spend karma in Shadowrun; not how you earn it. You don't earn any karma doing those things. You can practice all you want; your pistol skill won't get any better until you earn karma.


If you look at my response I touched on this.

If it were as simple as having time on your hands to study then we'd all speak eight languages and be on our third degree or whatever. But we don't. You get in a rut, you get in a position where things are stable, and consequently you are too. Karma accumulates, but it accumulates at a slow NPC rate. Now runners... ah, the runner spent last week leaping across rooftops to get into a yakuza compound, is trying to work out whether her boyfriend is being mindcontrolled (or if he was always just that dumb) and knows she has to learn how to prime explosives for the run next week.

Your shadowrunner has motivation, stimulation and variety. She's in permanent "child" mode and learning at a rate of knotts.

As to the magical uses of karma and why you gain it from runs. That's even easier. By carrying out all these dramatic actions and heroics, you earn yourself... karma. ;)

Well, I think this is a very good start if you want a fluff interpretation.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
De Badd Ass
post Sep 15 2006, 09:11 PM
Post #10


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 619
Joined: 18-April 03
From: The UV Nexus
Member No.: 4,474



QUOTE (knasser @ Sep 15 2006, 04:51 PM)
I think this is a very good start if you want a fluff interpretation.

Actually, I think all the answers are good, as far as they go. They fall a little short of the original questions: Do your characters DISCUSS karma costs? (and the implied followup: How?).

Maybe some in character examples would be better than metaphors.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
eidolon
post Sep 15 2006, 09:23 PM
Post #11


ghostrider
********

Group: Retired Admins
Posts: 4,196
Joined: 16-May 04
Member No.: 6,333



It doesn't exist "in game" in my games. Since it's an abstraction of experience leading to increased ability, there is no in-game representation.

As far as "knowing about it because you have to spend it to do X", we spend the karma out of game to say, make a deal with a spirit, however, that too is an abstraction.

What's going on in game? Whatever you feel like saying is going on. Or, you could not say, and let everyone have their own ideas about it. Unless it directly comes up in game, there's no reason to handle it in any more detail. If you want it to be done in game, it's up to you to decide how it's done, what karma means, etc.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
knasser
post Sep 15 2006, 09:45 PM
Post #12


Shadow Cartographer
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,737
Joined: 2-June 06
From: Secret Tunnels under the UK (South West)
Member No.: 8,636



QUOTE (De Badd Ass @ Sep 15 2006, 04:11 PM)

Maybe some in character examples would be better than metaphors.


Example:
Samurai:: So have you been following that fitness plan I worked out for you?
(hacker player checks character sheet. Karma = 0)
Hacker: Nah - I just haven't got the time at the moment. (eats soyburger)

Example:
Mage: I feel so good, you know? That run we pulled off was awesome. I never knew I could throw a fireball that big! Life is just... good!
Spirit:Give unto me thy life force and in return I shall slay your enemy.
Mage: Uh, okay.
Woo... shudder... shudder
Mage: Life is just so... flat, you know?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
2bit
post Sep 15 2006, 09:49 PM
Post #13


Moving Target
**

Group: Members
Posts: 749
Joined: 28-July 05
Member No.: 7,526



Karma is creative inspiration... Karma is the heart of what makes metahumans Namegivers, to borrow an earthdawn term.

In my game, only those with a good magic theory have a working understanding of it, but even to them it's a nebulous energy and not quantifiable.

Most other characters only know it indirectly through its effects: inspiration, creativity, being "in the zone"... writer's block, frustration, headaches...

So no, we don't talk about it...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
knasser
post Sep 15 2006, 09:50 PM
Post #14


Shadow Cartographer
*******

Group: Members
Posts: 3,737
Joined: 2-June 06
From: Secret Tunnels under the UK (South West)
Member No.: 8,636




Actually, I just recalled that characters in cannon have explicitly referred to karma. I don't recall which book as I read it annotated on AH's site. It was too mages online talking about Cybermancy and several times they mentioned it. For example, one mage asked about how the Azzies handled the karma drain.

I wouldn't have a problem with magician characters talking about their energy as karma to some extent. Ish.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Reply to this topicStart new topic

 



RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 28th May 2024 - 01:40 AM

Topps, Inc has sole ownership of the names, logo, artwork, marks, photographs, sounds, audio, video and/or any proprietary material used in connection with the game Shadowrun. Topps, Inc has granted permission to the Dumpshock Forums to use such names, logos, artwork, marks and/or any proprietary materials for promotional and informational purposes on its website but does not endorse, and is not affiliated with the Dumpshock Forums in any official capacity whatsoever.