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> You ever have simple runs just go horribly wrong?
Crusufix
post Jun 14 2007, 05:25 PM
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So last night we fired up a brand spanking new SR4 campaign.

We had created our characters, a pretty decent bunch. Four characters in total. All outfitted to be members of a Powernoize Band. OK cool, something I can work with.

So since this group is fairly new to SR4 (we've played primarily SR2 some SR3 before) I decide to start off a little slow, make things easy. I decide to run them through a couple of the Shadowrun Missions found at www.shadowrunrpg.com I'm sure most of you are familiar with them.

Last night we gathered. Problem 1, the Guitarist (and face) for the band doesn't show. OK, running 3 characters, no biggy. Mission 1 is a cakewalk. We begin. Mission 1 goes flawlessly. They completely avoid all contact with the various enemies, handle everything diplomatically and get their loot and earn themselves a few minor contacts. Excellent. Only issue is.. we blew through the mission in less than 2 hours. Generally we play a good 8 - 10 hours a session.

I don't want to start Mission 2 with just 3 players, especially missing the face. So I decide to run small combat scenario, get use to the new combat rules and get them streamlined.

The mage of the group (whose name escapes me right now) is contacted by his talismonger and informs him that there is a bounty on ghouls in such and such section of Denver. 100 :nuyen: a right hand, figured they might as well as earn a little extra cash while at it. SO they head over to the area. Problem 1, nobody has any knowledges pertaining at all to anytype of paranormal critters (Hey they are all band members, most their knowledge is around various musical activities). So after a bit of searching they do end up finding a small ghoul house. A rundown dilapidated 3 story apartment building nesting 8 ghouls (and 2 hellhounds to escalate things up if need be).

First thing right off, Mage goes to off one of the ghouls at the door with a Force 10 powerbolt. Critically glitches his spellcasting, 6 ones rolled, no hits. Resists drain... critically glitches THAT! again a lot of ones rolled, no hits. So the mage pretty much damn near offs himself. That was funny, we all had a good laugh. The three retreat with a passed out mage slumped over the back of a bike. The mage comes to a little while on the way back to HQ. They decide to stop at a stuffer shack, buy some vending machine clothes so the mage can clean up a bit and return to the ghoul house. The rest of it goes pretty smooth. They take some damage, but mostly they wipe up the floor. I decided to keep it easy, there were no lieutenants , and the ghouls were all using their claw attacks. The hell hounds caused a bit of a panic but were quickly dealt with. Players collect their loot.

So... we've still got plenty of time left.

So I think, alright lets try something a little more complicated. Something where a face would be nice to have. A bouncer contact calls up the Players. There are some local go gangers running amuck in the bars parking lot, vandalizing paying customers rides. It's doing bad for business as these gangers show up once every couple of days and cause havoc. The players are asked to speak with a gang lieutenant and see if some sort of agreement can be come to so that the gangers no longer trash this poor bars rep.

Behind the scenes I decided this local go gang was expanding their territory, for a couple weeks they've been terrorizing local businesses and were going to approach them soon to start demanding protection monies.

The PC's accept, they case the bar a few nights (note it's several days later, they've played a gig at another local bar and they've all healed up fine from the ghouls). One night they see 5 gangers driving up the street. The two lead gangers are tossing a lit moltov cocktail between each other back and forth. Kind of a chicken game, see who tosses it first (or drops it). Max (a minor cybered bodyguard type) decides he's going to shoot the moltov cocktail to get the gangers attention. Good shot, blows the cocktail apart, scattering flames across the first two gangers (just little ones, no real damage). Both gangers fail their composure checks, both gangers fail their crash tests, the two lead gangers wipe out and are a little scrapped up but otherwise fine. The other three gangers stop to help out their buddies and figure out what the hell just happened.

Let me introduce Mosher, the medium cybered gun bunny (and bassist of the band)... He decides to put a couple bullets into one of the gangers bike, to try and knock out the power supply. A couple good shots a couple bullets in the bike. Of course this scares the gangers into hiding behind a couple parked cars on either side of the street. The mage gets the excellent idea to walk up the middle of the street towards the gangers in an attempt to initiate negotiations. Two of the gangers take a couple pot shots at the mage, both hit, but do zero damage (light pistols suck). Mosher, seeing the gangers shooting at the mage shoots back. Damn good shots killing one of the gangers. This scares the gangers even more. They make a mad dash for their bikes and make a run for it. Max hops on his speedy bike and gives chase, Mosher just decides to put a bullet in each ganger. He does some decent damage but doesn't kill any more gangers, but now all wounded. Max takes a shot at the lead ganger and kills him, forcing control tests for the other gangers, they all succeed and avoid the tumbling bike and body of the dead ganger. The remaining three gangers split up and head seperate way, Max gives up the chase.

The players regroup. They decide to take the dead gangers body by the cars, rent a motel and put the body on ice in the tub while their fixer tries to locate a buyer for some slightly used hand razors and internal commlink... it costs $300 :nuyen: for three days at the motel. (later the fixer gets back to them and pays them 50 :nuyen: for the used parts).

The next day while the fixer is looking for a buyer for low end used very common cyber the players decide to track down the gangers hideout. They do this no problem. Everyone in the seedy area of town knows the gangers hangout at the old car scrapyard. They approach the scrapyard. Now behind the scenes, the three surviving gangers have returned, told of their exploitations and now the gang leader has just put a bounty on the head of the players. One guard recognizes Max and Mosher (the mage stayed behind at the motel to make sure fresh ice was poured on the body.) and takes a couple shots at them. Max and Mosher retreat back to the motel uninjured. The mage decides to climb onto a nearby rooftop and using his vision mag he's going to snipe the guards with some manabolts.

The mage isn't risking another fiasco like with the ghouls so he's only hitting them with force 5 manabolts. The first spell does some damage and the guards retreat into their little ad hoc guard towers. Now the mage can't see the guards, but he can see a few people milling around inside the scrapyard. So he manabolts one of those random gangers. Again only using force 5 manabolt, he does some stun damage to the poor random ganger but nothing too serious.

Behind the scenes one of the lieutenants in the gang is a mage. He has a force 4 spirit of air bound to him. He summons a watcher spirit to find the mage and report his location. Spirit finds the mage easily, reports him. The mage is still sitting on the rooftop trying to snipe random gangers with force 5 manabolts. The doors to the scrapyard open and out comes 12 gangers, including the mage lieutenant the watcher spirit is still tracking the mage. The mage hops on Max's bike and all three players take off. A chase ensues, The spirit of air uses accident on Max, he passes his crash test flawlessly. The spirit of air uses confusion on Max, scores an incredible five net hits. Spirit of air uses accident agian on Max, control roll fails and Max and The mage crash. Crash did some damage but not too much, but now there are 10 gangers surrounding them (the mage was offing manabolts during the chase and managed on taking two out of the equation).

Mosher is still riding free and ahead of the others. He decides to turn around and see what's going on from a fairly "safe" distance of about a block away. The spirit of Air engulfs the mage, and instead of applying the damage he's just been ordered to hold him. The still confused Max makes a hasty jump behind a nearby Tri-co bin. The spirit drops the confusion power off of Max and one of the gangers hops off his bike and starts waving his gun around at the tri-co bin and the mage still engulfed in the spirit of air. Mosher sees this gun waving ganger and makes a called shot for the head. He makes an impressive shot, getting a net hit amazingly. Ganger does well on his damage resistance and only takes 9 boxes, enough to knock him over onto the ground. Composure test and ganger is unconscious from the headshot.

The other nine gangers all open up on Mosher... Mosher is no more.
A healig spell from the ganger mage and the lieutenant ganger is back on his feet, still heavily injured but up and conscious. Player Mage makes note of the ganger mage.

The player mage finally gets enough hits on his breakaway test from the engulf that he breaks free. The lead ganger of this group has a proposition for the two players. They approach the bar in question and THEY collect the protection money, which is now doubled and is due tonight in 2 hours. (I'm trying to be nice and keep the players alive, I figure some gangers with shadowrunners in their pockets would be great for later). They will keep the player mage as collateral while Max goes to get the monies. Max is all for this plan. he's all gung ho and agrees... The player mage isn't. He doesn't like this being held part of the deal. So he decides to go out with a blaze of glory, he powers up a force 10 powerbolt and tries to take out the ganger mage. He doesn't do so very well. Ganger mage resists the spell and the other 9 gangers gun down the player mage.. player mage is no more.

Max manages on doing some fast talking, the protection money quadruples and Max will have it in 2 hours. Max instead of confronting the bar with his "negotiations" decides to pay the money himself to the ganger, out of his own pocket. The gangers don't care where the money comes from as long as they get their 4000 :nuyen: each month. And now they have a shadowrunner in their pocket. Max earned the gangers as a -2/2 contact.. and gained 1 karma for merely surviving the night.

And that pretty much is where the session ended. The "Metal Brothers" Are now recruiting a new bassist and drummer if anyone is interested.. lol.

Leave it up to the players to get themselves dead.

Sorry for the oh so very long winded post. I just had to share my lovely experience with people who might get as a much a kick out of it as I did.
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lunchbox311
post Jun 14 2007, 05:55 PM
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Wow. Sounds like they really hosed it.

I have had players do that when I was GMing also... it is very frustrating.


I think there may have been a couple technical issues though. IIRC you only critical glitch if you roll ALL 1's meaning you can have a regular glitch with or without successes.

Also... direct combat spells in this game are NASTY. A force 10 powerbolt does the damage resisted with body... and NO armor. Manabolt is resisted with willpower and NO armor. Both do physical damage (meaning no stun from manabolt... and force 5 could easily mess someone up bad.) The direct combat spells also have a base damage of force PLUS net hits (up to force;) so your force 5 manabolt could do up to 10 damage with 5 hits and the force 10 powerbolt could do 20 damage with 10 hits (unlikely but possible.)

Keep that in mind because it sounds like that was not taken into consideration... or those gangers got super lucky at resisting spells.
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fistandantilus4....
post Jun 14 2007, 06:00 PM
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Biggest cake walk I've seen blown: You know the run in Brainscan where they have to go to a power substation next to a little league game? Well they went with a team of six, one a night one, one dress in I kid you not a full ou nina outfit, and one street sam with an assault rifle on his shoulder after I described the litte league game.

So after a call for back up and a bunch of runners tanding around for a good five minutes trying to figure out how to get past a fence with barbwire, the Star shows up, resulting in two destroyed vehicels, one dead PC, 3 dead cops, and a huge man hunt.
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djinni
post Jun 14 2007, 06:06 PM
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QUOTE (lunchbox311)
I think there may have been a couple technical issues though. IIRC you only critical glitch if you roll ALL 1's meaning you can have a regular glitch with or without successes.

you glitch when half your dicepool come up ones, and you've recieved at least one hit.
you critially glitch in the same result except there are no hits.
on 10 dice 5 ones are all that's needed.

if he was cursed level 2 then only 3 are needed, and so on....

an overcast spell should have killed the mage if he crit glitched the drain...
mercy of the GM since it was a bum roll I suppose ;)

ya my force+magic vs your willpower. manabolt kills people more than it injures them.
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lunchbox311
post Jun 14 2007, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE (djinni)

you glitch when half your dicepool come up ones, and you've recieved at least one hit.
you critially glitch in the same result except there are no hits.
on 10 dice 5 ones are all that's needed.

You are correct now that i busted out the book. Wow... I have been way too nice on my players.

That mage was probably hurting.
:(
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djinni
post Jun 14 2007, 06:41 PM
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QUOTE (lunchbox311)
That mage was probably hurting.
:(

oh ya hurting alot, stupid mages playing with things they can't comprehend....
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DireRadiant
post Jun 14 2007, 06:59 PM
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Why is it that the drummer always spontaneously combust?
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KarmaInferno
post Jun 14 2007, 07:14 PM
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Wait wait wait...

There are simple runs that DON'T go horribly wrong?



-karma
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djinni
post Jun 14 2007, 07:43 PM
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QUOTE (KarmaInferno)
Wait wait wait...

There are simple runs that DON'T go horribly wrong?



-karma

oh ya all the time, like last week we had to do an extraction of a brief case in a house, we flew the helicopter disguised like a news chopper over the house and jumped out...someone forgot the shaped charges to blow a hole in the roof so the pilot crashed into the house....with the helicopter...blades first...you see where I'm going with this right?
didn't go horribly wrong...nope nope...definately not....nope nope...
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X-Kalibur
post Jun 14 2007, 08:03 PM
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QUOTE (DireRadiant)
Why is it that the drummer always spontaneously combust?

There was nothing left of him but little green globules.
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Crusufix
post Jun 14 2007, 08:42 PM
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QUOTE (lunchbox311)
Wow. Sounds like they really hosed it.

I have had players do that when I was GMing also... it is very frustrating.


I think there may have been a couple technical issues though. IIRC you only critical glitch if you roll ALL 1's meaning you can have a regular glitch with or without successes.

Also... direct combat spells in this game are NASTY. A force 10 powerbolt does the damage resisted with body... and NO armor. Manabolt is resisted with willpower and NO armor. Both do physical damage (meaning no stun from manabolt... and force 5 could easily mess someone up bad.) The direct combat spells also have a base damage of force PLUS net hits (up to force;) so your force 5 manabolt could do up to 10 damage with 5 hits and the force 10 powerbolt could do 20 damage with 10 hits (unlikely but possible.)

Keep that in mind because it sounds like that was not taken into consideration... or those gangers got super lucky at resisting spells.

Ahhh, right right, my bad.

I should have been doing physical damage to the gangers. I think the fact that the mage kept calling his manabolt, stunbolt is why I kept thinking I should be doing stun damage to the gangers

It was resisted with their willpower and willpower only, gangers had 10 damage boxes, usually the mage rolling his 10 dice would only get 3 or 4 hits and I'd get a couple lucky hits with the resist. There were even a couple of complete resists. So poor targeted ganger would still be up and at it. I did keep thinking it was stun damage though.

I'll have to keep that in check next time.
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djinni
post Jun 14 2007, 08:49 PM
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QUOTE (Crusufix)
I'll have to keep that in check next time.

you could always say that his critical glitch prevented him from properly channeling the manabolt for a short time...
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lunchbox311
post Jun 14 2007, 08:50 PM
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QUOTE (djinni)
QUOTE (Crusufix @ Jun 14 2007, 03:42 PM)
I'll have to keep that in check next time.

you could always say that his critical glitch prevented him from properly channeling the manabolt for a short time...

True. There are many things that can be done to keep mages and such in check.

Honestly the plotting for later with runners seems like a good idea.
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Crusufix
post Jun 14 2007, 08:51 PM
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QUOTE (djinni @ Jun 14 2007, 03:49 PM)
QUOTE (Crusufix @ Jun 14 2007, 03:42 PM)
I'll have to keep that in check next time.

you could always say that his critical glitch prevented him from properly channeling the manabolt for a short time...

Excellent excellent.. yes yes.. THAT's what happened. Just like Djinni said.. that's the reason why! :D
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Crusufix
post Jun 14 2007, 09:04 PM
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QUOTE (djinni @ Jun 14 2007, 01:06 PM)


ya my force+magic vs your willpower. manabolt kills people more than it injures them.

I thought it was Spellcasting+Magic when making the spellcasting test...

Was I doing that wrong??

I lent my book to the mage so he could create a new character for next session, so I can't reference it right now.

I thought it was Spellcasting+Magic for the spellcasting test, max hits = force of the spell.

Resistance test was Willpower.

You subtract hits from the resistance test from the hits from the spellcasting test, a positive number of hits means the spell does Force + Net Hits damage. A negative result means the spell was fully resisted and no damage was done.

I hope I wasn't messing that up.
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lunchbox311
post Jun 14 2007, 09:21 PM
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QUOTE (Crusufix @ Jun 14 2007, 04:04 PM)
QUOTE (djinni @ Jun 14 2007, 01:06 PM)


ya my force+magic vs your willpower. manabolt kills people more than it injures them.

I thought it was Spellcasting+Magic when making the spellcasting test...

Was I doing that wrong??

I lent my book to the mage so he could create a new character for next session, so I can't reference it right now.

I thought it was Spellcasting+Magic for the spellcasting test, max hits = force of the spell.

Resistance test was Willpower.

You subtract hits from the resistance test from the hits from the spellcasting test, a positive number of hits means the spell does Force + Net Hits damage. A negative result means the spell was fully resisted and no damage was done.

I hope I wasn't messing that up.

No you were doing it correct as far as I can tell.

It is just fairly rare that a manabolt does not wipe somoene to the floor when they only have 3 willpower or so. *shrug* Your mage was only throwing force 5 bolts so it seems alright.
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GrinderTheTroll
post Jun 14 2007, 11:18 PM
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Even the "easiest" of runs go bad when runners make bad decisions like messing with a gang's lair. Seems like an expected outcome, like poking a hornet's nest with a stick. They learned the importance of superior numbers and when to use an ambush, lol.


Also a technical item, making drain on a Force 10 means your drain will be physical unless you've got a 10+ Magic Attribute. Another minor item is casting at a distance for mages has to be through optics (Telescope, Binoculars, etc) since you can't cast "through" technology devices to get LOS. Wasn't sure what your mage was using to cast-at-distance.
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Crusufix
post Jun 14 2007, 11:34 PM
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QUOTE (GrinderTheTroll)
Also a technical item, making drain on a Force 10 means your drain will be physical unless you've got a 10+ Magic Attribute. Another minor item is casting at a distance for mages has to be through optics (Telescope, Binoculars, etc) since you can't cast "through" technology devices to get LOS. Wasn't sure what your mage was using to cast-at-distance.

Mage was using optics for the vision enhancement. He had a fancy pair of Mage goggles.

The critical glitch I didn't have kill the poor mage.. cause this was our first session and that was just one badly badly botched spell. And besides we all got a good 5 - 10 minute laugh about what exactly that would look like to anyone watching.

You see three guys on two bikes pull up.
One guy waves at the ghouls.. gets off the bike.. points at a ghoul. Gets this incredibly constipated look come over his face and falls over.
Another guy picks up the first slumps him on his bike waves at the ghouls and both bikes drive away.
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mfb
post Jun 15 2007, 01:40 AM
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heh.
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FriendoftheDork
post Jun 15 2007, 10:20 AM
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LOl your team sucks :P

Sorry, just had to say it. Really, these players act like they're all level 10 playing a lvl 1 D&D module!
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djinni
post Jun 15 2007, 03:08 PM
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QUOTE (Crusufix)
I thought it was Spellcasting+Magic when making the spellcasting test...

sorry typo...yeah you were doing it right I was just trying to point out the overbalance of those direct spells two attributes versus one...
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GrinderTheTroll
post Jun 15 2007, 05:14 PM
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QUOTE (Crusufix)
You see three guys on two bikes pull up.
One guy waves at the ghouls.. gets off the bike.. points at a ghoul. Gets this incredibly constipated look come over his face and falls over.
Another guy picks up the first slumps him on his bike waves at the ghouls and both bikes drive away.

LOL. :rotfl:

Still, casting at 10 has it's consequences, glitch or not.
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Whipstitch
post Jun 15 2007, 06:04 PM
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Yeah, unless you neglected to mention the Mage spending edge to downgrade the glitches, you let him off REALLY easy. Going by the RAW, critical glitches can be outright disastrous on their own, much less when dealing with Force 10 combat spells. In this case, nuking your own motorcycle and then suffering sudden internal bleeding would actually be more likely than the situation you just described, and would in fact be relatively merciful compared to other potential outcomes. :dead:

Anyway though, can't say I blame you for just embarrassing the mage rather than killing him outright over the rolls from hell, especially since you didn't back down from killing him off once he made it clear that his character just wasn't meant to keep contributing to the gene pool. :)
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ShieldT
post Jun 16 2007, 01:43 AM
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So what was Player A (the Guitarist/Face)'s reaction when you guys told him what happened? :D
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Crusufix
post Jun 16 2007, 04:50 AM
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QUOTE (ShieldT)
So what was Player A (the Guitarist/Face)'s reaction when you guys told him what happened? :D

I'm not sure if he's been informed yet.
Next session isn't until Wednesday.

Most likely I'm guessing he'll just shake his head. lol
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