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> GM errors, what do you do when...
Slymoon
post Feb 9 2008, 03:13 AM
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This particularly has to do with an SR3 scenario I ran; Corporate Punishment: Second Effort

In the run the group had to break into a Proteus-AG and insert an operative. The run went well, very well I couldn't believe how well everything went.

Second run had them retrieving the operative. If you are familiar with the scenario you know it can be extremely easy. Unfortunately for the group they went in the hard way. And as good as the first half went, this was far in the opposite direction. They got down in the facility and never made it across to the Arcology. Tripping every damned alarm they found in the landside facility. This resulted in a very nasty fight to gtfo and it was hell. Right as they were about to make it out, the fast shooter of the group. (Normally a very careful player) Chunked his grenade up the stairs following it as fast as he could go.

now on the GM side, it had been established through the security cams (yeah that was also one of the alarms tripped... and not taken care of) that the group was very well supported in the Magic arena. Specifically using alot of Improved invis. knowing this the 6 sec guards were waiting at the head of the stairs fully prepared with ultra vision and in their light sec armor. The grenade went off, only distracting 2 security (out of 6). None were injured and I rolled for surprise and perception. The four guards saw and opened fire. (2) 3rnd bursts each. Needless to say the character went down hard. The rest of the team made it out, but in a rush and were not able to retrieve the fallen runner. As they had a hella time beating feet themselves and barely made it out.

Sounds grand and played like it should.

However, I screwed up my TNs for the perception test and shooting. (it has been 3+ years now) If i recall correctly, I slapped a standard +2 TN on the ultra vision. Where I believe I should have hit it with +1/2 the vis modifier, or +4.
Point being, only 2 of the guards should have seen him and as I recall only 3 bursts landed instead of 7. He would have been hurting and porbably not have gone down with all his combat pool and karma pool. It was a good character and I hated realzing how I Fed up.

But I didn't realize till the next day. (game went until 3am) The story was good but I feel I wronged the player. They did have a chance to recover him (on life support for info), but the cards were just not in it for them and the attempt was miserable.

Have you done something accidentally like this?

What would you do after realizing the error? (I hate to 'undo' a game, anygame)

(can you tell it is still eating at me... 3 years gone and still. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/frown.gif) )

Edit: had - for TNs instead of + offhand I dont recall the exact screwup but it was definately a +2-4 TN oops.
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coolgrafix
post Feb 9 2008, 03:21 AM
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Look... This really, really, REALLY happens to everyone. Everyone botches something like this and a player dies. It's more difficult to manage if the player figures it out. It's unsatisfying all around. Revising the outcome works for certain types of players but not the majority.

From your description, the run sounds like it was really intense and everyone was on the edge of their seat. With alarms going off left and right and guards in security armor, I'm frankly surprised more didn't die. They should have. My advice, let it go. =)

Bottom line: Life in the shadows is hell; if that's not what everyone (GM and players) has signed on for then they're playing the wrong game.
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jago668
post Feb 9 2008, 03:21 AM
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Well stuff happens. Myself I would have left it as it was, and just if the situation came up use the "correct" TN. I have done the same thing where I will just ball park a TN modifier instead of wasting time looking it up. Sometimes it works for the players, sometimes it doesn't. As long as you are consistent and people have fun, that is all you need to worry about.
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Jackstand
post Feb 9 2008, 03:32 AM
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You could talk to the player about it, and possibly let the character survive. Maybe he could sell the others out to Proteus for leaving him to die. Maybe they could patch him up, turn him against his former compatriots, and send him back out there. There could be a 'heartfelt' reunion between him and the other runners, the others try to make amends for abandoning him, and he keeps tabs on shadow activity for Proteus, maybe tipping off security if they run on Proteus again.
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Angelone
post Feb 9 2008, 03:41 AM
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Everyone messes up. After 3 years there's really nothing you can do about it. Only thing you can do is try not to make the same mistake twice. As long as you and the players are having fun little screwups can be forgiven.
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jago668
post Feb 9 2008, 03:43 AM
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Another thing is you could let him do a "new" character. (whatever you do for someone starting out after the start of the campaign) Then let his buddies hire him to rescue his old character. If it works out he gets his old character back. If it doesn't then he keeps playing the new character.
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Slymoon
post Feb 9 2008, 03:52 AM
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QUOTE (jago668 @ Feb 8 2008, 09:43 PM) *
Another thing is you could let him do a "new" character. (whatever you do for someone starting out after the start of the campaign) Then let his buddies hire him to rescue his old character. If it works out he gets his old character back. If it doesn't then he keeps playing the new character.



erm... he did and they hired him and they all failed badly. All ended up bleeding out a the border crossing after being gunned down.
Dunno what it was, but after losing their friend everything went down hill. RP was good, but timing was way off and the die rolls where horrid.

oh... they had a team karma, actually felt like it had a RL effect. eery.

I tied the border crossing bit into Harlequins Back, the whole, if you succeed here then the Fates give that little nudge that would allow a very long and painful chance to survive. Unfortunately even with Harlequins Gift the bad karma stayed with them. Failing the quest sent them back intime for a few last breaths.

Was quite emotional. Had been a 4 year campaign alot of attachment.
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ixombie
post Feb 9 2008, 04:06 AM
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You've told us that you hate to undo the game, but that you feel bad for someone's character dying because of your screw-up.

I think the best way to compensate the character without hurting continuity would be to let him make a new character with the full karma of his old one, and possibly without the normal availability/rating limits.

Either that, or Proteus decides to turn him into a cyberzombie! And he pops out of a coffin and goes "Blah!" Though actually that would be pretty cool if your campaign was ready for a cyberzombie, and I bet the player would have fun... You could have him start working for Proteus, and call in his team to work as a quasi-official set of deniable assets (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotate.gif)
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Clyde
post Feb 9 2008, 04:35 AM
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Look into this character and the team's backgrounds. Find something to hook into there. Probably this runner went out of his way to help somebody once. Then make it up so that Proteus needs their cooperation.

Look at it from the standpoint of Proteus. You've got a highly trained covert operator who has no SIN, no records and no connection to your company. So what if he tried to harm the company or killed some guards. That's just money - to Proteus and to the runner. Put together almost any use for the character and Proteus will stick him back together.

He can wake up in a clean, quite room somewhere out of the way. A trusted contact or former associate says that person X, who's life you saved three years ago on that extraction, arranged for your escape. From there the PC can go home. Then person X, who works for Proteus now, can go ahead and become the team's Johnson for a while. When you're tired of that (or they are) you can spring the double cross.

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Kagetenshi
post Feb 9 2008, 06:13 AM
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QUOTE (coolgrafix @ Feb 8 2008, 10:21 PM) *
Everyone botches something like this and a player dies.

No, actually, I can fairly safely say that that doesn't happen to everyone.

Lot fewer people would play if it did (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

~J
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Ravor
post Feb 9 2008, 06:29 AM
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Yeah, when I mess up if it's something fixable I fix it, otherwise we just have to roll with the punches, but if a character dies because of my screw-up and it isn't really fixable then I give the Player's spare character some Karma to make up for it, it seems to work out.
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nathanross
post Feb 9 2008, 07:18 AM
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This may just be me, but from the way it sounds, that is perfect! I dont think it matters that you messed up (dont do it again). I feel that the RP presented by this opportunity is far more precious and memorable than the character surviving and triumphing. You shouldnt change things just so that the runners win. They have been winning for the past 4 years. It is time that they experience a loss (and it seems like they really did experience it). I can only hope that one of these days I get the same opportunity your characters had.
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knasser
post Feb 9 2008, 09:03 AM
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If you think it's appropriate to the player, explain the situation and work something into the new character they create, e.g. a free Spirit Knack or whatever. It's probably not a good idea to mess up the immersion in the world by going back and changing anything. And making new characters can be fun and a good role-playing opportunity. So do whatever is necessary to address the guilt-upset balance between you and the player and go from there.

This sort of thing does happen.

-K.
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Ryu
post Feb 9 2008, 12:18 PM
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If I mess up and donĀ“t notice in time that I have done so, I keep my mouth shut on it. The player in question can more easily live with "the guards ambushed me and I died" than with "my GM used invisible guards and a "rules oversight" to kill me". What you described really sounds like a fun run, even if the runners failed to accomplish their objective.

I would always give a new char some karma and money to get him/her close to the power of the rest of the group. If I accidentially killed the old char, then the player would get more leeway building the new one (beyond having access to BP+karma, which is great).
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Rotbart van Dain...
post Feb 9 2008, 12:33 PM
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Actually, getting the spend karma of the old character for the new one is SOP in my non-SR group - that works quite well.
In SR, one should add gear value as money, though.
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Kagetenshi
post Feb 9 2008, 02:37 PM
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Our group dismissed that idea, based on the fact that it encourages limitless power escalationā€”granted, it's been several years and we've had relatively few deaths, so we're advancing as it is.

I am, however, thinking about proposing that new characters get half the average karma of the remaining team, as that would cause a downward trend while not crippling the new character.

~J
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Ryu
post Feb 9 2008, 07:17 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Feb 9 2008, 03:37 PM) *
Our group dismissed that idea, based on the fact that it encourages limitless power escalationā€”granted, it's been several years and we've had relatively few deaths, so we're advancing as it is.

I am, however, thinking about proposing that new characters get half the average karma of the remaining team, as that would cause a downward trend while not crippling the new character.

~J


One needs to decide how min/maxing is handled. Karma and BP costs are not the same. IĀ“m of the opinion that min/maxing BP vs. Karma should not be limited at all (the only base that is fair). Consequently, I have to give out less karma than the char had before, else the replacement gets to be more powerful than the deceased. THEN there is the point that some pain has to be felt. About half previous karma sounds right IMO.
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