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sunnyside
post Nov 6 2008, 06:38 AM
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Alright so as a GM I'm always on the look for ways to persuade characters to step away from being yet another orphaned trenchcoat wearing badass without having to be heavy handed.

I'm considering borrowing a page from HÅ?L (Don't know Human Occupied Landfill? Look it up, then buy a copy) and letting players take a "bent" as a flaw. (Some way in which they are just not right, from Jelly Donought obsessions to pedephilia to a desperate need to be accepted by people who scare them.)

This serves two purposes. One it can add some character flavor, and two it can help explain why in the world the character is running the shadows instead of something.

The trick is that the flaws in the books are general put together with game mechanics, wheras bents not so much. So the question is if it's a good idea and how best to balance them. Borrowing addiction rules comes to mind though it seems a bit off. But another option could be offering fewish points for them but tying them to RP karma (possibility to be penalized or get a bonus).


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Cain
post Nov 6 2008, 07:35 AM
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Not the best of ideas, IMO. It's been a hell of a long time since I read HOL, but I think the concept is basically just another low-grade flaw. Flaws should be meaningful, if they're going to have mechanical effects like extra BP's.

Instead, I suggest "Quirks" from GURPS. Each player must select 3-5 little personality quirks about their character, like "Doesn't drink real alcohol" to "Chain smokes", or what have you. If it comes up in game, and the player plays it out well, it can earn him an extra karma for roleplay.
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sunnyside
post Nov 6 2008, 08:25 AM
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Quirks are fun and not a bad idea at all, but they tend to be exceedingly light for a dystopian setting.

And I feel like if they aren't light there should be some form of reward.

Or are you saying that even majorish issues that are more RP related shouldn't give initial BP but should garner a slow trickle of extra karma?


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Cain
post Nov 6 2008, 08:53 AM
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QUOTE (sunnyside @ Nov 6 2008, 12:25 AM) *
Or are you saying that even majorish issues that are more RP related shouldn't give initial BP but should garner a slow trickle of extra karma?

Basically, yeah. Long-term karma awards allow you to more precicely reward the good roleplay.
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Blade
post Nov 6 2008, 09:23 AM
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Play the daily lives of the characters. The 2D badass trenchcoat-wearing orphans will need to add some depth to their characters if they want to have any fun during downtime.

Another thing I've found quite useful is to have them think about (writing it is even better) a few things that have happened to their characters in their past. I'm not talking about the character's backstory, but about details, little stories and elements that shaped the character.
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Tarantula
post Nov 6 2008, 04:10 PM
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Could follow some of the compulsive mental qualities in RC. Make them make a willpower+some other mental stat (1-3) test depending on how bad they need it.
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Kerris
post Nov 6 2008, 05:37 PM
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I've considered taking a page from The Burning Wheel (look it up... character generation is fantastic, though lengthy), and implementing Instincts and Beliefs. In tBW, a player must come up with 3 of each for his character.

An instinct is kind of an if... then statement. "If I enter a room, I check the corners and exits", or "When I sit down in a room, my back must be to a wall", "When I get a drink, I drink it with a straw". They're little things that demonstrate how the character thinks, and dictate how the character acts. The GM must adhere to them as much as the character adheres to them, so, for example, a character with the first instinct I listed doesn't have to declare that they check the corners and exits, it's just understood that they do.

A belief is more of a view on the world. "Most people are good", "People can't be trusted", "A gun is a guy's best friend". They're a little more abstract, but also demonstrate how the character thinks. In tBW, there is a reward system for following beliefs, but I don't think it's necessary. I think it's just a really cool way of getting into a character's head.
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Snow_Fox
post Nov 7 2008, 01:41 PM
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and if everyone sits with their back to the wall it gets very weird very quickly.

Seriously though, there is an element of disfunctional outcast in most runners. Sure there are the Thomas Crowns but unless you're doing a film noir type PI these people are outcasts from polite society, they ARE career criminals who don't fit in the nice corporate environment.

As others have said, play up the down time, or make them have to be more subtle in leg work. you can't approch every contact like some skell in an alley and shake them down.

If you're really stuck, get them to go back to the "20 questions" from earlier eds. It might get them to realize how they can fill out their back story, if not after a while they may notice things are the same.
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Synner
post Nov 7 2008, 03:33 PM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox @ Nov 7 2008, 01:41 PM) *
If you're really stuck, get them to go back to the "20 questions" from earlier eds. It might get them to realize how they can fill out their back story, if not after a while they may notice things are the same.

Or you could try the Character Quiz in Runner's Companion (ie. SR4's 20 Questions)
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Aaron
post Nov 7 2008, 03:47 PM
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Yeah, what's wrong with the new set of Twenty Questions? =iP
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Tachi
post Nov 8 2008, 10:49 AM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox @ Nov 7 2008, 06:41 AM) *
and if everyone sits with their back to the wall it gets very weird very quickly.


It might surprise you how often my friends and I get into arguments in restaurants over who gets the chair with it's back to a wall. Or, whether or not we sit near the back exit. These things can be extremely important to some people, especially those with O.C.D, like myself.
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Snow_Fox
post Nov 8 2008, 02:13 PM
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Or with our friends they just accept some of us get the seats our backs to the wall. It usually is those of us who often carry.

In character it would be more like my friends with it just a given who sits where as habit. If the team stands around discussing who sits where they look unprofessional to the johnson and they are a target while they debate.
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Snow_Fox
post Nov 8 2008, 02:25 PM
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QUOTE (Synner @ Nov 7 2008, 10:33 AM) *
Or you could try the Character Quiz in Runner's Companion (ie. SR4's 20 Questions)

yeha that's an option too. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif) seriously though I was just thinking of that process in whichever edityion a person uses.
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Tachi
post Nov 9 2008, 07:43 AM
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QUOTE (Snow_Fox @ Nov 8 2008, 07:13 AM) *
Or with our friends they just accept some of us get the seats our backs to the wall. It usually is those of us who often carry.

In character it would be more like my friends with it just a given who sits where as habit. If the team stands around discussing who sits where they look unprofessional to the johnson and they are a target while they debate.


They all quit arguing with me when I got my CCW. Not that I ever let them win to begin with. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)
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Cantankerous
post Nov 9 2008, 08:20 AM
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The best way I found to get this done was to take them, individually, through "A Day in the Life" of their character OFF the Runs. What they do and why and thinking in a third (or even better, fourth) dimension gets more accomplished than bribes of ANY stamp can.

Helping to make their character a "person" in their eyes means they end up feeling silly assed being the angsty trench coat mafia. Another HUGE thing, if you are doing it: add a third dimension to your NPCs and the PCs usually follow along quickly too.


Isshia
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sunnyside
post Nov 9 2008, 11:24 PM
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On the corners. Shadowrun is set in a rampantly capitolistic society.

So I imagine runner bars to be like this with cyber and guns instead of the fantasy stuff.
http://www.weregeek.com/2007/12/07/

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the_real_elwood
post Nov 10 2008, 12:05 AM
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In all of the games I played in, we usually just mocked people who made obviously cliche characters. Maybe a little less subtle of a way to solve the problem, but it worked for us. Plus, everyone had more fun trying to add a little uniqueness to their characters.
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Cain
post Nov 10 2008, 04:25 AM
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QUOTE (the_real_elwood @ Nov 9 2008, 04:05 PM) *
In all of the games I played in, we usually just mocked people who made obviously cliche characters. Maybe a little less subtle of a way to solve the problem, but it worked for us. Plus, everyone had more fun trying to add a little uniqueness to their characters.

I dunno, sometimes there's a lot of fun in taking a cliche and giving it a good hard twist. My favorite was a SR3 Troll tank with a Charisma of 1 and an art history skill of 9. It made for some very interesting interactions. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ork.gif)
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Falconer
post Nov 10 2008, 04:44 AM
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I remember HoL that was hilarious.... I drove the Gm nuts because I never once picked anything.
I just kept rolling dice to figure out what i'd get next and stay in chargen as long as possible.

In any case, 4 words.... 'kitty kitty bang bang'... best weapon ever
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Grinder
post Nov 11 2008, 10:53 PM
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QUOTE (Cain @ Nov 6 2008, 08:35 AM) *
Instead, I suggest "Quirks" from GURPS. Each player must select 3-5 little personality quirks about their character, like "Doesn't drink real alcohol" to "Chain smokes", or what have you. If it comes up in game, and the player plays it out well, it can earn him an extra karma for roleplay.


Star Wars: Saga Edition has a large table with suggestions for quirks.
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