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> 4E House Rules, What works for you?
Riley37
post Sep 25 2007, 12:06 AM
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One house rule posted in a few places so far: making the Logic stat part of most Matrix and ECM skill rolls, and instead of the program grade adding dice, using it as a cap for hits (somewhat parallel to Force limit on hits for Spellcasting + Magic). I gather that many gamers thought that hackers should have a primary stat and/or that critical reasoning is part of the imagery or fluff of hacking. (Under RAW, the term "script kiddie" applies, meaning someone who just knows how to run the program but not enough to write or adapt programs, or search for loopholes in defenses, etc. IIRC, Bobby Quine in "Burning Chrome" could well be a script kiddie, he just slots the Kuang program and "rides" it... not that Gibson wrote from a coder's perspective.)

An alternate: Logic + Skill + Program Grade, and increase thresholds accordingly, much as better equipment adds to dice pool for many other tests.

I persuaded my GM to allow a heal wounds check of 1/2 BODY for a "taking it easy" day, lotsa naps and no strenuous activity (compare to 2x BODY for a full day of complete bed rest). Since I play a troll sam with high BODY, I got enough hits anyways.

What other house rules to 4th Edition are being used in gaming groups?

My main intent is to solicit house rules that a) explictly diverge from RAW, rather than being additions to the list of Qualities, the list of spells, etc. and b) are in actual use in ongoing games. There are some ongoing discussions, eg in the Augmentation thread, that may or may not have results specific enough to be "this is my house rule and it works for my group". With that said, I imagine that there may be interesting posts which diverge from my intent...
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Emperor Tippy
post Sep 25 2007, 12:20 AM
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I've played with Skill+Program+(1/2 Logic) before. I don't really like the common house rule of capping hits based on attribute or program, one time with that rule I managed to roll 10 hits and only had a 7 in logic. I know it's rare but it does happen.
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Kyoto Kid
post Sep 25 2007, 12:25 AM
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...we've used the Logic + Skill capped by Programme rating for hacking and it seems to work just fine.
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Fortune
post Sep 25 2007, 12:29 AM
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QUOTE (Emperor Tippy)
one time with that rule I managed to roll 10 hits and only had a 7 in logic. I know it's rare but it does happen.

That kind of thing happens with magic all the time. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and say 'The character did the absolute best job that could be done', and be happy with that.
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Kyoto Kid
post Sep 25 2007, 12:38 AM
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...in the last session Violet (that's #6) almost routinely exceeded her programme rating. The thing is most Matrix tests are extended with the exception of Cybercombat. But even then, the IC (or opposing Matrix Specialist) is also limited by the node's (or her programme) rating.
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blakkie
post Sep 25 2007, 01:00 AM
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Not a lot actually. But a couple of really big ones.

Sometimes (when I GM) cash, prices, and contacts are replaced by an adaptation of the most excellent Circles and Resources rules from Burning Wheel. Also Avail of hacker programs is Rating*3, making maximum starting rating 4. I find this gives more room for growth in hackers and is the key to aleviating a lot of the WTF factor in the Matrix.

Another big one is the numbers on the alternate ammo having a heavy dose of sanity applied to them. Well sanity and depleted uranium. Sort of like sweet and sour, two opposite tastes combined for one tongue tingling sensation! 8)

That's really the most of it outside of occationally some leeway in new magical effects and creatures. Sort of house rules in that they aren't offical canon creatures and such. More an extension of the existing rules. You'll see that other thread the Luck Bastard magic Knack/Sorcerer Quality I'm working on here. That hasn't been used in play yet though. Just something I'm mulling over before putting forward for inclusion.
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Prime Mover
post Sep 25 2007, 01:37 AM
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Ok heres another take on Logic use with programs.

Roll logic and use sucess's like a teamwork test, adding number of dice equal to sucess's to skill+program roll. Keeps numbers reasonable without haveing to cap.
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MaxHunter
post Sep 25 2007, 01:40 AM
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... mmm, I dunno. Many of the house rules we had came up later in Augmentation. One was rolling only Body for healing tests and having wound modifiers apply (we didn't like RAW fast healing times) Also the rule for glitches in damage resistance tests and horrible effects.

Magic: direct damage combat spells have their drain modifiers raised by +1. There is a rationale to it but I'm too tired right now to do the explaining. A couple other spells are tweaked and there is a profusion of player-Gm generated spell in play; a fine example is: Speak with the Dead or Deathprobe (a restricted target version of Mind Probe that works on Dead People) plus others, now mostly contemplated with SM (though we didn't have it at the time we did the reasoning)

Combat: shooting with assault rifles and other long weapons like sniper rifles in restricted spaces sometimes needs a -ready weapon- action, depending on description and previous targets.

Running the shadows: Public awareness is SC+N / 5, not 3; we have even considered a factor of 10. Notoriety and Street Cred is regularly awarded on roleplaying reasons. Some nototiety points cannot be erased with SC without faking your own death or so.

Availability; "R" items are 20% more expensive, 50% plus for "F" items; a 10% markup for every 4 points in availability is expected if you are in a hurry. Extended tests can be rolled only -dice pool- times, otherwise you fail. Bonuses for Street Cred are capped by dice pool size.

Chargen and Advancement: attributes are *5. Mental attributes *3 but only until the character has surpassed 35 karma. (to round up the BP chargen "1"s)
Edge and Magic are always *3. Chars get Cha*2 contact points for free.

We are using a downtime random events table; lovingly called "Suerte o Muerte", there is a roll affected by the Edge you have left unspent from the last run before downtime and includes some random events like: "slander", "down with the flu", "robbed", "bad spirits", "out of town", "new acquaintance", "on fire", "milk run", "SOTA" and others. This table is quite dynamic and I mod it every once in a while. Basically it has minor events which can add something to the characters backstory/their contacts and could affect the following shadowrun.

That's all I can remember at the moment, I'm a little too tired to continue rambling coherently. Maybe I get back to this later with more.

Cheers,

Max







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Fortune
post Sep 25 2007, 01:45 AM
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I'd love to see a copy of that table. :)
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Gelare
post Sep 25 2007, 01:53 AM
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Echo that, that table sounds cool. Feel like doing a bit of charity for your Dumpshock pals?
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blakkie
post Sep 25 2007, 01:56 AM
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QUOTE (MaxHunter)
Availability; "R" items are 20% more expensive, 50% plus for "F" items;

Is that on top of the modifiers in the Street Costs table on pg. 303 of the BB? I had always counted 'F' as having a permanent 'Law Enforcement crackdown on item', giving it the same %50.
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Abschalten
post Sep 25 2007, 02:05 AM
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My favorite house rule is the Ammo Faucet...

In every kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or any room in any building that has a sink, there are three nozzles.... One for hot water, one for cold water, and one for bullets. I hate accounting for regular, piss-cheap, easy-to-obtain regular rounds, and I find making my players keep track of it to be tedious and boring. Ex-EX, APDS, Flechette, etc... all that still has to be bought. So I tell them that regular rounds come out of the faucet and spill into the sink.

I'm more concerned with how many rounds they carry with them on a job than how much they can horde up at home, so I give them the regular stuff for free so it's less headache for everyone.
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Buster
post Sep 25 2007, 02:08 AM
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I like this house rule for matrix tests too:
Matrix tests are Logic + Skill and there are no program ratings. If the user does not have the correct program on their commlink, they take the standard -4 penalty for not having the right tools.
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Fortune
post Sep 25 2007, 02:10 AM
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QUOTE (Buster)
I like this house rule for matrix tests too:
Matrix tests are Logic + Skill and there are no program ratings. If the user does not have the correct program on their commlink, they take the standard -4 penalty for not having the right tools.

That's the one I like the best.
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Garrowolf
post Sep 25 2007, 03:38 AM
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I had so many house rules that my game looked like a different beast. Of course my house rules for 3rd edition became the 4th edition at a frightening rate.

I agree with Logic + Skill being the major factor. What I did was that you could do extended tests without the proper software but not fast hacking tests.

I also reversed the situation with the software ratings. Basically you have to have your software at the rating of your skill. If it is below then you take a penalty of the difference. If it is above then it doesn't have any extra effect because you can't really make use of the improvements - you don't know enough.

This made hacking software useless to non hackers so you don't have a situation where everyone has all the hacking programs and the hacker is barely needed.

A variant I came up with was to try and reverse the situation. I had deck as a different kind of commlink. You would connect it to your commlink so you needed both. The deck was built by the hacker and was a specialized device not sold. It had a device rating that was the lower of your Hardware, Programming, and Hacking Skills. This replaces all hacking software with this device rating. The device rating was the Body roll for attacks on the deck.

Now have all the major hacking targets are specializations of Hacking. You can hack a commlink without a specialization. You need a point in each specialization in order to not be defaulting. They can be things like satellites for communications interception, Drones for control override, Identity for ID changes and tracking, etc.

This makes the system very simple and skill driven which is the reality of the situation. A real hacker can hack with a weak computer as a challenge. Shadowrun has always forced them to be focused on money for their stuff because they didn't know how to deal with a character type not really motivated by money. A real hacker is in it for the challenge.

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It trolls!
post Sep 25 2007, 04:28 AM
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QUOTE ("Abschalten")

In every kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or any room in any building that has a sink, there are three nozzles.... One for hot water, one for cold water, and one for bullets.  I hate accounting for regular, piss-cheap, easy-to-obtain regular rounds, and I find making my players keep track of it to be tedious and boring.  Ex-EX, APDS, Flechette, etc... all that still has to be bought.  So I tell them that regular rounds come out of the faucet and spill into the sink.


I keep it similar. Why have the spellslinger who maybe fires a pistol clip full of ammo a month always worry about replacing every single bullet? As long as a character's lifestyle is not Street or Squatter and as long as he's not jumping around, covering everything in tons of lead, regular ammo is covered by lifestyle in my games.
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deek
post Sep 25 2007, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (Emperor Tippy @ Sep 24 2007, 07:20 PM)
I've played with Skill+Program+(1/2 Logic) before. I don't really like the common house rule of capping hits based on attribute or program, one time with that rule I managed to roll 10 hits and only had a 7 in logic. I know it's rare but it does happen.

We do a Logic + Skill capped at Program Rating. We also use skill caps, so the cap is actually the lower of Program Rating or Skill + 1. In order to mitigate the issue with surpassing skill caps, I added a new positive quality that changes the skill cap from Skill + 1 to Skill x 2. Its basically an Advanced Specialization.

No one has taken it in my campaign yet, but I know that a couple are thinking about it as their dice pools get bigger.

Another house rule we use is for training. I used the availability tables and availability tests to find a trainer, much like you find any equipment. For training up to skill rating 3, I just say that it can be found as a matrix training program, so you don't have to find an actual person. Above that, you do. And based on the trainer's skills, I associate a cost, so it is pretty cut and dry and standardizes all the time and costs associated with training up skills.

We also have a house rule for movement. In order to divide everything down to an IP, we adjusted race walking and running rates to be evenly divisible by 4. That way, the math is really easy for movement during each IP.

As a related house rule, we made 1 meter = to 4 feet and then use 1 meter hexes on the maps. This makes it so no one is moving partial hexes as we play out combat. Its not 100% accurate to real-world, but it make combat movement faster and allows me to easily generate maps and distances, without having to do a bunch of conversions.
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Dashifen
post Sep 25 2007, 02:44 PM
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QUOTE (deek @ Sep 25 2007, 09:29 AM)
We also have a house rule for movement.  In order to divide everything down to an IP, we adjusted race walking and running rates to be evenly divisible by 4.  That way, the math is really easy for movement during each IP.

Now that's just brilliant. What rates do you use?
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Kyoto Kid
post Sep 25 2007, 02:46 PM
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QUOTE (Buster)
I like this house rule for matrix tests too:
Matrix tests are Logic + Skill and there are no program ratings. If the user does not have the correct program on their commlink, they take the standard -4 penalty for not having the right tools.

...the only issue I have with this is that some programme ratings are important such as Armor, Medic, ECM, & Biofeedback filter.
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deek
post Sep 25 2007, 02:54 PM
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QUOTE (Dashifen)
QUOTE (deek @ Sep 25 2007, 09:29 AM)
We also have a house rule for movement.  In order to divide everything down to an IP, we adjusted race walking and running rates to be evenly divisible by 4.  That way, the math is really easy for movement during each IP.

Now that's just brilliant. What rates do you use?

Well, there is not too much to change. Current rates are:

Humans, elves, orks Walking = 10m/turn, Running = 25m/turn
Dwarfs Walking = 8m/turn, Running = 20m/turn
Trolls Walking = 16m/turn, Running = 36m/turn

I changed them to:

Humans, elves, orks Walking = 12m/turn, Running = 24m/turn
Dwarfs Walking = 8m/turn, Running = 20m/turn
Trolls Walking = 16m/turn, Running = 36m/turn

or:

Humans, elves, orks Walking = 3m/IP, Running = 6m/IP
Dwarfs Walking = 2m/IP, Running = 4m/IP
Trolls Walking = 4m/IP, Running = 9m/IP

So, we just take a look at the movement per IP, and with a 1 meter = 1 hex, we just move hexes and don't worry about it.

And to add sprinting:

1 success = 2m/turn or 1m/IP (rounding up)
2 success = 4m/turn or 1m/IP
3 success = 6m/turn or 2m/IP (rounding up)
4 success = 8m/turn or 2m/IP
5 success = 10m/turn or 3m/IP
6 success = 12m/turn or 3m/IP

So it all flows pretty easy and really I only adjusted the human/elf/ork rates.
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Dashifen
post Sep 25 2007, 03:09 PM
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That works for me. I don't use hex maps, so that's not an issue in my games, but easily divisible movement rates are awesome. Thanks, deek.
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Yoan
post Sep 25 2007, 06:49 PM
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QUOTE (MaxHunter)
We are using a downtime random events table; lovingly called "Suerte o Muerte", there is a roll affected by the Edge you have left unspent from the last run before downtime and includes some random events like: "slander", "down with the flu", "robbed", "bad spirits", "out of town", "new acquaintance", "on fire", "milk run", "SOTA" and others. This table is quite dynamic and I mod it every once in a while. Basically it has minor events which can add something to the characters backstory/their contacts and could affect the following shadowrun.

Any chance I/we can keep a copy of that? ;)
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Aaron
post Sep 25 2007, 07:32 PM
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I believe that the only house rules that we use are these.
  1. Cover modifiers are added to the defender's dice pool, not subtracted from the attacker's. Increasing an attacker's chance of glitching because his target ducked behind a car didn't make sense to us.
  2. Damage that exceeds a character's Body causes her to be knocked down, rather than damage that equals or exceeds it. We thought that characters were spending too much time on the ground.
  3. Rolling Initiative is optional after the first Combat Turn. It was just too much work; we like our combats to feel less like a war game and more like a running gunfight.
  4. Arcana can be used in place of a Magical Knowledge skill. This was mainly because Street Magic came out after the magician in our group started her character, and we made a deal that she could shift her BPs without losing the know-how that the character was supposed to have.

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Malachi
post Sep 25 2007, 10:46 PM
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I recently implemented the Skill + Program capped by Logic rule for Matrix tests. It seems to be going over just fine.
ASIDE: I really don't see what the complaint about "script kiddies" and "making hackers useless" is all about. Yes, "non-hackers" can get hacking programs fairly cheaply/easily. However, even under RAW, they still need a fairly good Commlink and a decent Hacking, Computer, and Cybercombat skill to get anything reasonably done. My point is: if you have a "street sam" who has 1) An upgrade commlink 2) a full suite of hacking programs and 3) good skill ratings in computer/hacking skills... then are they really just a "street sam" anymore? Aren't they now a "hacker?" Stop thinking in a "class" mentality.

Other house rules:
Switching Activesofts isn't a simple action, it is a Free Action to deactivate one and a Complex action to load a new one. This makes Skillsofts (which are Commlink programs) follow the same rule as other Commlink programs.

Pistols can only mount Barrel accessories. (Came from a request by a player to put a Scope on a Pistol... I didn't see it happening)

Putting a Silencer on a weapon gives any perceiver a +2 bonus to notice the concealed weapon visually or by "pat down." (Can be offset by the Concealed Holster).

Swapped the bonuses for Full-VR vehicle piloting and Control Rig around, -2 Threshold is now conferred by the Control Rig, and Full-VR gives a +2 bonus on Driving Tests. This comes from my belief that the Control Rig is the more significant contributor and should get the better of the 2 bonuses.
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Jaid
post Sep 25 2007, 11:19 PM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid)
QUOTE (Buster @ Sep 24 2007, 09:08 PM)
I like this house rule for matrix tests too:
Matrix tests are Logic + Skill and there are no program ratings.  If the user does not have the correct program on their commlink, they take the standard -4 penalty for not having the right tools.

...the only issue I have with this is that some programme ratings are important such as Armor, Medic, ECM, & Biofeedback filter.


iirc, the rule was that if a rating was needed, you used the commlink's response (and you also multiplied the commlink's cost by the response rating, iirc). the theory was that everyone just buys all the programs at max rating anyways, so this was basically just to save on bookkeeping, while still charging a roughly similar amount for the gear or something like that. (note: the programs still existed, just the player was assumed to start with all of them).

QUOTE (Malachi)
Swapped the bonuses for Full-VR vehicle piloting and Control Rig around, -2 Threshold is now conferred by the Control Rig, and Full-VR gives a +2 bonus on Driving Tests. This comes from my belief that the Control Rig is the more significant contributor and should get the better of the 2 bonuses.


problem being, how often are thresholds going to come up compared to how often +2 dice is useful?
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