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> Hello, a few questions/ideas
Cyberwyrm
post May 5 2007, 03:08 PM
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Hi I am about to jump back into shadowrun last time I ran or played was when 3rd edition had just come out. I have a few questions about different things with 4th, I search the forums and didn't see the answers so I will ask here.

Character Creation> Why would anyone play a human except for role-play reasons, every race gives you bonus ability scores, increases the max for those abilities, and some other goodies like low-light vision? Anytime I would make a character that was a good idea as a human why not be an Elf and get +2 Cha and +1 Agi ? And the point cost to play a race doesn't reduce the max 200 points on abilities.

Is this a real problem are there any quick fixes? I thought of making people pay for race out of the 200 build points for abilities, or applying the max attribute penalty as a negative to the ability?

Skill requirements> Just like how you can only spend 200 BP on abilities I think that setting a requirement on skills like you have to spend at least 100BP on skills.

Group skills> Why on earth is something that gives extra dice to only 3-4 skills cost the same at creation to raise as an ability score that gives you the same extra dice to all skills linked to that attribute? And again why is it more expensive with Karma to increase it?

My fix to that is to keep the BP the same (after all you can only have so many ability score increases) but use group skills as a creation tool only, after creation or during (for specialization, or making one in group a 5 or 6) they are counted as separate skills to increase.

Gear> Contact lenses and glasses, why can someone buy a pair of contacts that does everything and it fits all OK but adding extras to cybereyes costs more essence. Essentially why don't glasses (ect.) have a capacity rating max?

Crossbows, what is the rate of fire SA or SS? It takes a free action to reload one not a simple so can I fire one twice? Isn't an arrow or bolt that does 7P+hits that can also deliver a 10S drug something that everyone would use? I mean why shoot a shotgun for 7S -1 AP when a crossbow can do 10 extra stun?

Thanks in advance for help and sorry for so many things on one post but figured it was better then 4 or so different posts.
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BrandedBandit
post May 5 2007, 03:22 PM
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many people like humans because they get extra edge. edge is good. orks are the master race for min-maxing.
i agree that skill groups are expensive to raise with karma. i think the purpose of this is to encourage more skills during character gen.
i would assume laced crossbow bolts would be more expensive than bullets. also, a pislol would be more concealable than a crossbow.
and archery seems to be a very specific skill. drugs don't work on everything you will encounter
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Nocturne
post May 5 2007, 03:30 PM
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Re: Character Creation and Race
If this bothers you, another fix that came to mind would be to penalize those attributes that used to have actual reductions in previous editions, not just lower max ratings. If an attribute has a range of 1-5, for example, treat it as though the attribute actually had a -1 that you had to buy against... so going from 2 to 3 on such an attribute is actually like going from 3 to 4 on a human. At chargen, you would treat this as having to buy up from 0 to 1 first before being able to raise it (+10 overall cost, basically).

Re: Skill Requirements
I'm not sure why this is a problem.

Re: Eyewear
Yeah, I don't like this either. Some folks have proposed house rules for limiting the capacity of eyewear, along the lines of contacts (3), glasses (6), goggles and the rest (9). IIRC this is what Serbitar's house rules do, I think it makes sense (search the forums for his stuff if you like).
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Shev
post May 5 2007, 03:31 PM
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Welcome back! I'm still adjusting to Fourth myself, but I can try to answer at least some of your questions.


Character creation: First off, it costs you points that could be used to make you magically active, have more skills, etc. Second, humans get Edge, one of the handiest stats in the game. If the GM uses the Hand of God as written, you can literally see it as the "lives" of your character. You CANNOT DIE until you run out of Edge. And of course, there's always racism and discrimination.

Skills: If a player isn't spending at least 100 BP on skills, I'd be curious as to where they're all spending it. Only 200 can go into attributes, 50 into resources...How are they spending the 150 remaining points?

Group skills: You can only boost your attributes so much. Particularly in 4th, where you can only max one stat, and have to pay overtime for even that one. Skill groups are cheaper to upgrade than individual skills. And why wouldn't you want them? By that logic, why would you increase each skill separately when you can just increase the attribute they're linked to? Because attributes can only take you so far.

Gear: Because the contacts or classes can cram all the tech they want into it without damaging your beautiful self. A cybereye, on the other hand, can only hold so many augmentations before they start to overflow. Is it logical? Not quite, but doe it really matter?

Crossbows: I think a crossbow is still a SS, because you have to reload it after every shot. It is not automatic.

And the drug isn't delivered unless you pierce the armor, methinks. Assuming it's an Injury vector.
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Whipstitch
post May 5 2007, 03:50 PM
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[EDITED FOR MASSIVE SPAM REDUCTION] Seriously, that'll teach me to write a long reply to a question nobody has answered yet, only to go afk and let a swarm of people respond first before I click submit.


Anyway, note that humans get a free attribute point for nothing. That's pretty good, and Edge is useful for everyone. Meanwhile, trolls and orks get "free" bps in strength, a marginally useful stat that isn't linked to very many skills. Their body bonuses are great for anyone, but they pay for that privelege in racism. Meanwhile, elves and dwarves are nice but not quite as bp efficient as humans in general. For once, I think all the metatypes in SR actually have a good reason for existing. I'd prefer not to tinker with that.
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Wasabi
post May 5 2007, 04:18 PM
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Weird... crossbows dont seem to have a ROF listed. I myself have a tough time thinking they'd be able to fire faster than a Ruger Super Warhawk.
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knasser
post May 5 2007, 04:31 PM
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Crossbows are about as concealable as an erection in a sauna. On top of that, even the automatic feed ones have a magazine of up to four bolts. You don't want to be reloading that often, let alone carrying round a dozen boxes of foot long "bullets." They don't take a Ready Weapon action but I can't believe they're anything other than single shot. For poison you have to inflict a box of damage to get your bonus and I personally wouldn't allow that if the damage had already been converted to stun. Remember that the resistance roll to the poison will be separate to the crossbow damage also. And realise that you've given up your ability to go full auto or lay down surpressing fire.

Also poison crossbow bolts are a giant red flashing sign that says "Same guy that hit the Shiawase facility last month."
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Jaid
post May 5 2007, 05:27 PM
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poison also generally doesn't take effect immediately, but rather at the end of the combat turn iirc.

if you shoot someone for 10 damage, they take 10 damage now. if you poison someone for 10 damage, they typically take damage in 3+ seconds, which is a huge difference in shadowrun combat. by the time the poison does something, they could already be dead.

now there are exceptions, but those exceptions are expensive and not easy to get, and you can get the same mileage out of a gas grenade... which hits an *area*

that being said, as i read it crossbows can fire at semiauto rate... their main drawback is probably the ammo, and the lack of mounts.... only lasersight and smartlink. no recoil reduction, no underbarrel grenade launchers, no smart firing platforms, etc. (technically no silencer, but i don't think a silencer is necessary anyways in this case :P ) you can't quickdraw one, it definitely won't fit in a quickdraw holster, and good luck getting one into an arm slide. you can't load it with gel rounds, stick-n-shock, APDS, ex-ex, and so forth.

there's lots of drawbacks to the crossbow. you just have to not be avoiding noticing them.
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Wasabi
post May 5 2007, 05:28 PM
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QUOTE (knasser)
poison crossbow bolts are a giant red flashing sign that says "Same guy that hit the Shiawase facility last month."

Nope, they're a high velocity way of saying, "You've seen too much and now have to be eliminated." :-)
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Wasabi
post May 5 2007, 05:30 PM
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QUOTE (Jaid)
there's lots of drawbacks to the crossbow. you just have to not be avoiding noticing them.

Immunity to "Detect Guns" might be a small niche, but a handy one.
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Cpt_Machine
post May 5 2007, 05:38 PM
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I seriously think that changing character gen rules right off the bat is a VERY bad idea... I've seen it done many times; a GM looks at a rules and decides to change or remove it without even play testing it. Some rules may look stupid until you actually use them, if after that you dont like em then yes give it a tweak. However changing character creation to encourge humans are a bad idea. sure they dont get any extra abilities (bar the +1 EDGE) but in a world where metahumanity is shunned by humanity you may find people more receptive to a human than to an ork or troll.
The reason for the cost to rising Groups seems like its an exercise in buy now, pay later. You get the skills at a discount at character gen and pay more for them when you use Karma to level up. (or whatever you call it)
The contact lens are there to make sure people can access the Matrix and AR without losing Essensce, this allows street sammies to spend essense elsewhere should they wish to and allow mages to try out the virital world.
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Ravor
post May 5 2007, 05:56 PM
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Well personally I've never liked contacts, and don't buy the idea that they are some magic self cleaning, never slip gizmo that everyone should buy. (Yeah, before my eye surgry I used to wear the buggers and hated them.)

However, something to bear in mind is that for Mages at least, Cyberwear paid for with Essence can be used to target spells, so Cybereyes become more attrative once the player realizes that losing 1 Magic isn't really that big of a deal.

Anyways, here are some of the Char-gen alterations that we use in my group...


1) Essence Loss during char-gen only lowers the max cap on Magic, not the actual score. You still pay 25 BP for your final point though.

2) Availabilty only applies to Restricted or Forbidden Gear at char-gen.

3) The quality that gives you a +1 to the cap of one of your Stats allows you to break the 1/2 BPs towards attributes rule if you max out that stat. <Edit> But only for regards with that one final Point.[/b]

4) Characters are given 10 BPs free that can only be used to buy Contacts, but the character has to buy at least three seperate Contacts with those BPs. (And those Contacts can not be improved with normal BPs either.)

5) Characters are usually given at least one Campaign Contact free of charge, usually a Fixer of a Johnson, sometimes they are given two such free Contacts.

6) We usually play with 500 BP, I've found that it gives the characters more of a Third Edition feel to them.
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Cyberwyrm
post May 5 2007, 10:34 PM
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Thanks for all the feedback from everyone.

Looking yeah the crossbow does have problems, same as bow but those narcojet arrows are still very nice. I would probably make it SS ,the whole should not be faster than a revolver is true. Plus I would agree that to inject an injury vector poison it would have to do at least 1 block of physical damage.

I will take the advice and just use the rules as written for now and see how they work. Its just I am the one running it and making characters for the players based on a one page written description the player is giving me and normally I am a min/max rules lawyer type when it comes to char gen. Once the game starts I like to kick back and relax, but making 5 characters is letting me see a few balance issues (which always exist for those who look for them in any system).

I like the extra points for contacts idea and was thinking of using maybe some kind of rule for enemies as well to balance out the extra points, I think there were some in 3rd/2nd.

Something I just thought of our group used to love Dikote but I don't see any rules as written for it in 4th. I would assume an availability higher then 12 to keep it out of character generation and probably just add armor piercing to the weapon/bullet maybe an extra (-2)?
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hobgoblin
post May 6 2007, 12:08 AM
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One thing about external vision aids, they can be taken away. Or for that matter lost. I hope future books come with ways to loose them when taking damage and similar...
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toturi
post May 6 2007, 01:04 AM
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The nice thing for the GM about the contacts and glasses is that they are accessible to the common mook too. The PCs would have those contacts and glasses because they are so much cheaper than the cyber equivalent anyway, so the loot isn't going to help the PCs much.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 01:26 AM
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The (Hu)Man is always putting the metas down. Always!
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odinson
post May 6 2007, 03:00 AM
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QUOTE (Cyberwyrm)
Character Creation> Why would anyone play a human except for role-play reasons, every race gives you bonus ability scores, increases the max for those abilities, and some other goodies like low-light vision? Anytime I would make a character that was a good idea as a human why not be an Elf and get +2 Cha and +1 Agi ? And the point cost to play a race doesn't reduce the max 200 points on abilities.

play a human for the +1 edge. Couple that with lucky and you got an edge of 8. That's way better than natural low light vision. You can always get cyber to get the bonus attributes but they don't have cyber that makes you more lucky.

HMMM. any shadowfist players out there? How about a piece of equipment call "Probability Manipulator" that gives you bonus edge?
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WhiskeyMac
post May 6 2007, 03:26 AM
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Humans cost no extra BP to play and are considered the Gold standard for everything, from cars to cyberware. The thing I don't like about the races is that the Elves are the only ones who don't have a disability associated with their bonuses. Trolls/Orcs have minuses to other stats as well as racism. Dwarves have a lower Running multiplier but not a lot of racism. Elves get bonuses and the only "minus" they have is they're too pretty and considered to be part of an "Elven Conspiracy."
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Wasabi
post May 6 2007, 06:27 AM
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QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Elves get bonuses and the only "minus" they have is they're too pretty and considered to be part of an "Elven Conspiracy."

The Bland positive quality 4tw!
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FriendoftheDork
post May 6 2007, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE (WhiskeyMac)
Humans cost no extra BP to play and are considered the Gold standard for everything, from cars to cyberware. The thing I don't like about the races is that the Elves are the only ones who don't have a disability associated with their bonuses. Trolls/Orcs have minuses to other stats as well as racism. Dwarves have a lower Running multiplier but not a lot of racism. Elves get bonuses and the only "minus" they have is they're too pretty and considered to be part of an "Elven Conspiracy."

That's why everyone hat elves: They're all arrogant stuck-up poseurs[I] , hated by orks and trolls, disliked by dwarves and many humans. Envied by all.

Still, unless you're going for a gun face you're better off with a human.

If you HAD to lower their stats -1 body or str might be appropriate. But I think they're fairly balanced.
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odinson
post May 6 2007, 07:06 AM
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Elves are balanced and overrated. They cost 30bp's and get you a total of +3 attributes and low light vision. Humans cost nothing and have +1 attribute. Natural low light vision isn't better than cyber low light anymore so the pair of cyber eyes you buy means the human is a much better deal. The only place an elf is really good is the wizard/face where the tradition's drain is based on will + charisma. Then those 2 extra dice are nice, and if you take up a bunch of charisma skills you're set.
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DireRadiant
post May 6 2007, 04:09 PM
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Characters are more then a set of numbers.
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Crusher Bob
post May 6 2007, 04:22 PM
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If you want to try some alternate character generation rules, you can try Serbitar's alternative, SECKSY
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Glyph
post May 6 2007, 08:14 PM
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Elves are nice and all, but you get basically two advantages - first, like the other metatypes, it effectively lets you spend more than 200 points on Attributes (since you can still spend 200 points, only you also get those three bonus Attribute points). Secondly, it lets you start with higher Agility and Charisma, and improve them to a higher rating later.

The thirty points it costs to be an elf is equal to the thirty points worth of Attribute bonuses, so you take a net hit of 10 (for losing that human Edge bonus) in order to get the advantages mentioned above.


Humans are still competetive, though. Those thirty points that can't go to Attributes will go to other useful areas, and they have that Edge bonus. Would you rather have an elven shaman with Quickness: 3, Charisma: 7 and Edge: 2, or a human shaman with Quickness: 2, Charisma: 5 and Edge: 6 ? And yeah, the elf could spend 30 points to get Edge to 5, but then the human would be 30 points ahead in spells, or resources and bound foci, or skills.


Certain metatypes are better for certain roles, but overall the races seem fairly balanced in SR4.
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ElFenrir
post May 6 2007, 08:28 PM
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And as mentioned, the ork is pretty much the min maxer's race of choice, regardless of class. Ork Mages in particular are pretty sought after ive seen. They take a little hit to Logic and Charisma(both Drain stats), but the fact that A. they are a cheap race, B. Their Body and Strength bonuses pretty much mean they need NO points in them at all, and C. Their willpower takes no hit. A player can get well by with a high Willpower and a still-good Logic/Charisma score, and for very little disadvantage...except for aformentioned racism and the fact you're old at 30. :P

It does seem a bit true that the Elves end up taking a little hit here.

Dwarves are another interesting pick; you give up a little run speed for a cheap race with virtually no disadvantages. The hit to Edge is probably the worst.


Really though, you and your players pick what fits you best. The problem with BPs to me over Priority is there is too much damn point juggling at times. Which is why im still fumbling with bringing back Priorities. :)
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