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> SR II Rules Clarifications
Frieza_Prexus
post Mar 25 2009, 08:51 PM
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Hey Chummers,

Soon I'll be running an SR II game for some friends of mine and I had a few questions. I think I'm pretty well set on the rules, but I've got some questions. We didn't go to any other edition simply because I've already got most of the second/first edition books & adventures, and I'm familiar only with the SR II rules.

First, can an assensing mage hit an astrally projecting mage with a spell provided he can see him? If he can, would only mana spells work?

I know an astral mage can ground out spells to hit the assensing mage/foci/dual-natured whatever, and possibly his allies depending on the type of spell cast. Also, when an assensing mage fights astrally, does he use his physical stats or his astral ones?

I know that when an astral mage casts a spell that the drain is always physical, but what about an assensing mage? Is the drain ever physical for him?

I've also been looking at some possible house rules. First, these are all new players so I don't expect much in the way of creative rules usage. But are there any possible holes or gaps that I should be particularly wary about? I don't want to be unprepared when the drek hits the fan. What about items? I've already had one player figure out what the monowhip+phys-ad can do. Unfortunately for him, I'm enforcing the no item above availability rating 6 at char creation rule. I've also taken priority A from $1,000,000 cash to $500,000 at the suggestion of a friend of mine who was a long time SRII player.

I will start only with the core rules adding the street samurai catalog as we go along. Alpha and Beta-ware will probably introduced when I run Mercurial if the players can get that datafile on it. Same for bioware & initiation. That'll come later when they're more experienced. I will also be getting a copy of Rigger 2 (3? Whichever was the final one for SRII) eventually.

One thing I am looking at is the possibility of instant death. I've been thinking that maybe every 2 successes past deadly is another box of damage into the overflow. For some reason, it kinda bugs me that anyone can take an anti-tank missile to the head and live if they get treated quickly enough.

>>>>>[Thanks for the help.]<<<<<
-Frieza_Prexus<15:51:30/03-25-09>
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paws2sky
post Mar 25 2009, 09:26 PM
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QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Mar 25 2009, 03:51 PM) *
Hey Chummers,
Soon I'll be running an SR II game for some friends of mine and I had a few questions. I think I'm pretty well set on the rules, but I've got some questions. We didn't go to any other edition simply because I've already got most of the second/first edition books & adventures, and I'm familiar only with the SR II rules.


Sweeeeeeet.

I will refresh myself on these, but if my foggy memory serves me...
QUOTE
First, can an assensing mage hit an astrally projecting mage with a spell provided he can see him? If he can, would only mana spells work?


Yes. Essentially, the perceiving magician is astral, just tied to their meat body. Note that a projecting magician can usually evade a perceiving magician pretty easily though. They much faster, can fly through solid objects, etc.

Need to double check on the type of spells that can be cast. I'm hinking its mana only, but I'm not 100% sure.

QUOTE
I know an astral mage can ground out spells to hit the assensing mage/foci/dual-natured whatever, and possibly his allies depending on the type of spell cast. Also, when an assensing mage fights astrally, does he use his physical stats or his astral ones?


I'll need to double check on these.

QUOTE
I know that when an astral mage casts a spell that the drain is always physical, but what about an assensing mage? Is the drain ever physical for him?


The drain would definitely be physical if he casts at a Force higher than his Magic. I think a perceiving magician resists drain normally, but I'll double check.

QUOTE
I've also been looking at some possible house rules. First, these are all new players so I don't expect much in the way of creative rules usage. But are there any possible holes or gaps that I should be particularly wary about? I don't want to be unprepared when the drek hits the fan. What about items? I've already had one player figure out what the monowhip+phys-ad can do. Unfortunately for him, I'm enforcing the no item above availability rating 6 at char creation rule. I've also taken priority A from $1,000,000 cash to $500,000 at the suggestion of a friend of mine who was a long time SRII player.


The priority change is fine, especially if you're not using higher grade ware off the bat, but beware of magicians overshadowing the cybered members of the team. Knocking down A resources hurts street samurai, deckers, and riggers, all of who tend to rely on their starting cash to put them on even footing with adepts and other magicians.

Personally, while monowhips could be brutal, we never really had a problem with them. We even had a guy nearly loose a limb to one once. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/spin.gif)

I don't remember what the availability rules were in SR2 - we never really used them at character creation.

As a general guideline, I wouldn't recommend restricting characters to the point that you cannot generate one of the standard archetypes... unless you are specifically going for a lower power game.

QUOTE
I will start only with the core rules adding the street samurai catalog as we go along. Alpha and Beta-ware will probably introduced when I run Mercurial if the players can get that datafile on it. Same for bioware & initiation. That'll come later when they're more experienced. I will also be getting a copy of Rigger 2 (3? Whichever was the final one for SRII) eventually.

Sounds good.

QUOTE
One thing I am looking at is the possibility of instant death. I've been thinking that maybe every 2 successes past deadly is another box of damage into the overflow. For some reason, it kinda bugs me that anyone can take an anti-tank missile to the head and live if they get treated quickly enough.

That's pretty much how we played it.

-paws
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ElFenrir
post Mar 25 2009, 10:28 PM
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QUOTE
The priority change is fine, especially if you're not using higher grade ware off the bat, but beware of magicians overshadowing the cybered members of the team. Knocking down A resources hurts street samurai, deckers, and riggers, all of who tend to rely on their starting cash to put them on even footing with adepts and other magicians.

Personally, while monowhips could be brutal, we never really had a problem with them. We even had a guy nearly loose a limb to one once.


One of our characters currently has a scar around his forearm, from where they had reattached his arm from a monowhip mishap. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

I would also beware of lowering the nuyen too much; while a sam CAN get by on that, Deckers and Riggers are in desperate need of nuyen in those days. Programs cost a fortune. And yeah, the magical characters in this sense might end up overshadowing a bit.

We never, ever played with ANY availability limits in our game from the start-our first GM didn't use them, and neither did we. Result? We tend to have an item or two, or a piece of ware or two, that goes above the limit. We rarely go crazy, and take what fits our characters. I can understand why the rule is in place, though.

I'd watch out for uberdeath. The game, IMO, is dangerous enough as it is. Things tend to happen to precious NPCs Ive learned in the past, as well, when trying to deadly the game up, so I leave it well enough alone. (I will not spare an NPC from a fate a PC ends up eating because of my houserule. It is not fair and is, IMO, the opposite of fun when that happens.)

As for rules I'd watch out for? The Skill Web. Beware of what I like to call the Kevin Bacon Adept. So named for the ''Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.'' (IMG:style_emoticons/default/spin.gif)

See, in those days, all of your skills were under ''Skills.'' According to the Skill Web, these skills could be defaulted to, taking a minus for each default. BUT...Adepts could get immensely high die pools in a skill, especially a non combat skill(and yeah, I recall these could happen in SR2 rules, if I remember my old Grimoire stuff.) So an Adept could take, say, a skill in ''Stalking Kevin Bacon: 6.'' He would then take a ton of points in ''Improved Skill: Stalking Kevin Bacon.''

Thanks to the skill web, he could then proceed to default anywhere on the web with Stalking Kevin Bacon, having enough dice to eat up the negatives from the skill web, and is then firing off assault cannons(hey, smartgoggles add dice), with his Stalking Kevin Bacon skill. (Basketweaving is another good skill used for this.)

So yeah, you might want to watch for this. It's a rarity, but you never do know. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

EDIT: And I realize I forgot...defaulting doesn't take away dice in SR2, it adds to the target number. So there is another + to a target number for each spot on the Skill Web traced. My bad. But still, Stalking Kevin Bacon can eventually lead to Gunnery. Yes. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
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post Mar 26 2009, 06:01 AM
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QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Mar 25 2009, 09:51 PM) *
First, can an assensing mage hit an astrally projecting mage with a spell provided he can see him? If he can, would only mana spells work? I know an astral mage can ground out spells to hit the assensing mage/foci/dual-natured whatever, and possibly his allies depending on the type of spell cast.

Astrally perceiving characters are vulnerable to astral combat. They can also be directly affected by mana spells, and physical spells can be cast to ground-out through them. p146 SRII
QUOTE
Also, when an assensing mage fights astrally, does he use his physical stats or his astral ones?

His real world stats, physical and mental. p148 SRII
QUOTE
I know that when an astral mage casts a spell that the drain is always physical, but what about an assensing mage? Is the drain ever physical for him?

Always physical. p148 SRII
QUOTE
I will also be getting a copy of Rigger 2 (3? Whichever was the final one for SRII) eventually.

Rigger 2 is a bit of a schemozzle. SRII isn't too bad depending on how much depth you want for riggers.
QUOTE
One thing I am looking at is the possibility of instant death. I've been thinking that maybe every 2 successes past deadly is another box of damage into the overflow. For some reason, it kinda bugs me that anyone can take an anti-tank missile to the head and live if they get treated quickly enough.

Not a bad idea. I've considered having an overflow damage track where 2 successes makes a light overflow and so on. Otherwise high body trolls hang on forever.
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Frieza_Prexus
post Mar 26 2009, 06:32 PM
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Thanks for the help guys, some of those answers were staring me in the face too. If it was a snake it woulda bit me. I'll probably be back when my slotters got some new drek-headed move to pull on me.
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paws2sky
post Mar 26 2009, 07:05 PM
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I kept looking for the physical drain while projecting rule, but for the life of me, I couldn't find it. I found it in my SR3 book easy enough, but that didn't prove anything.

Link beat me to it anyway. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/spin.gif)

-paws
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Frieza_Prexus
post Mar 30 2009, 05:02 PM
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Well,

I ran my first session this weekend, and it went pretty smoothly. I'm running Dreamchipper, so we didn't have but one fight. The players managed to kill Griffon without too much trouble, but the mage is now walking around with a serious wound at the moment.

Our decker tried to break into the Johnson's computer network, and that was a bit tedious, but we're starting to learn the decking rules better. The big question is, should we switch over to virtual realities 2.0? Is it easier to learn and use?

Also, if we do use virtual realities 2.0 will the old adventures (Harlequin, Ivy & Chrone, DNA/DOA etc.) require any conversion for the decking sections, or will the rules just be different, but the "stats" the same? For example, the words "Orange 4 Access 8" will be in the adventure. Is the "grammar" of V2.0 the same just the rules in how you apply/execute programs different? And, how much will I have to tweak NPC cyberdecks?

Finally, is there any time the Sensors attribute gets used in the normal SRII decking rules? I couldn't find it anywhere.

Thanks again for the help you guys have given me.
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paws2sky
post Mar 30 2009, 05:51 PM
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I had backed away from playing a decker by that point, since it added unnecessary tedium for the other players... I don't recall any huge, glaring differences between VR and VR2.0 though.

-paws
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post Mar 31 2009, 12:10 AM
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VR1 & VR2 have some significant differences. The systems of SR1, VR1 & SR2 were labelled Matrix 1.0 while VR2, SR3 & Matrix were labelled Matrix 2.0 to illustrate that the systems differed significantly.
QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ Mar 30 2009, 05:02 PM) *
Also, if we do use virtual realities 2.0 will the old adventures (Harlequin, Ivy & Chrone, DNA/DOA etc.) require any conversion for the decking sections, or will the rules just be different, but the "stats" the same? For example, the words "Orange 4 Access 8" will be in the adventure. Is the "grammar" of V2.0 the same just the rules in how you apply/execute programs different? And, how much will I have to tweak NPC cyberdecks?

Finally, is there any time the Sensors attribute gets used in the normal SRII decking rules? I couldn't find it anywhere.

Using VR2 will require old (Matrix 1.0) stats and system maps to be somewhat adjusted to the new rules. In your example "Orange 4 Access 8" might become Orange 10 with subsystem ratings replacing Access 8 (this type of IC doesn't exist in Matrix 2.0). Cyberdecks remain the same.
I don't want to overstate the differences, the themes (& grammar) remain the same but there are rule changes; if the present system is working for you then stick with it, if not, have a look at VR2 with the proviso that the older decker scenarios will need adjusting.

As for Sensors, it appears redundant in SR2. In SR1 and VR1, resisting Analyse and Decrypt utilities used the Sensor rating as a TN rather than Evasion. You could reinstitute this if you're keen.
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darthmord
post Mar 31 2009, 04:39 PM
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I could have sworn that every 2 successes past Deadly was an additional box of overflow damage under SR2... or was that an increase to the Power of the attack?

I loved the SR2 system. Made it rather deadly if you knew what you were doing... kept you on your toes as a player. If you weren't careful, you were dead quick.
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tete
post Apr 4 2009, 10:12 PM
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QUOTE (darthmord @ Mar 31 2009, 05:39 PM) *
I could have sworn that every 2 successes past Deadly was an additional box of overflow damage under SR2... or was that an increase to the Power of the attack?

IIRC it was an optional rule in one of the books to make every 2 success = 1 box of Damage Overflow

I would stick to matrix 1.0 and leave VR2 on the shelf, while perhaps more realistic I remember it adding alot of rules

Rigger 2 meh, if your using drones sure go there otherwise K.I.S.S.

The thing about SR2 is it started out as a simplification of the SR1 rules but then they kept adding and adding and adding till by the end you ended up with SR3 only rather than a half dozen books of rules you had 20 or 30. So personally I would stick to the core book as much as possible.
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Frieza_Prexus
post May 27 2009, 09:33 PM
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Ok, we've gone through DreamChipper and DNA/DOA now with great success with the second edition rules. The Runners haven't been too hot, but most of them are still alive so that's a bonus.

A few more questions have popped up though. First, how well does the optional rule of 1 metamagic per initiate grade work out? I was thinking about using it, then I saw it in the Shadowrun companion which reinforced the notion that it'd be a good idea, but I wanted to get some opinions from you guys first.

Also, if I'm reading it right, when you start with a language you get an extra degree of specialization meaning a total of +4 to your skill for a single skill point of your point allowance. Is that correct? If so, every mage who plans on centering would be insane not to take at least 1 point into a language at character creation.

Next, can you improved invis an object? If you try to, wouldn't it simply raise your target numbers for the spell depending on how "refined" the object is? Does this present problems for your group? I know Dr. Arhill does this in Ivy & Chrome. Did that writer make a mistake?

Also, how should one deal with a mage who casts invis on a character and then sustains it a few hundred yards away and out of sight? I've been toying with a house rule that you can only sustain a spell on a target you can't see based upon a force test multiplied by your magic rating similar to how some detection spells are done. Otherwise, what's to stop your mage from popping 8-9 different buffs on your Physad who then goes on a Jack Bauer style stealth mission while the mage is miles away & safe.

Finally, I noticed that Gas Vents once installed cannot be removed. Is this why the vindicator minigun is considered so much Grade-A bang bang? Because it comes with no accessories meaning it can be buffed with a GV 4 + other goodies? If that is the case, then why doesn't everyone use a pimped out AK-97? It also comes with no accessories allowing it to take a GV 4 + goodies.

Thanks again for your help guys.

Edit: I also acquired a complete and unpunched (well, not anymore heh) copy of DMZ. How the heck, do you fold the dragon minis and what on earth are the square and triangle shaped holes for?
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Chibu
post May 27 2009, 10:01 PM
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QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Ok, we've gone through DreamChipper and DNA/DOA now with great success with the second edition rules. The Runners haven't been too hot, but most of them are still alive so that's a bonus.

Glad to hear it! My group loves second edition as well.

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
First, how well does the optional rule of 1 metamagic per initiate grade work out? I was thinking about using it, then I saw it in the Shadowrun companion which reinforced the notion that it'd be a good idea, but I wanted to get some opinions from you guys first.

I perfer it personally. Either that, or soming up with some way of learning or buying (karma) them after you initiate. It just dosen't make sense to me to be able to use all meta magic once you initiate. There are alot of metamagic skills, like from... Target: Awakened Lands and other books, which if you were playing otherwise, all mages would auto get them, and well it's kind of non-sense.

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Also, if I'm reading it right, when you start with a language you get an extra degree of specialization meaning a total of +4 to your skill for a single skill point of your point allowance. Is that correct? If so, every mage who plans on centering would be insane not to take at least 1 point into a language at character creation.

No, that would be a +2. Think of it like you're getting a skill in Language, concentrating in the language group, and specializing in the specific language. The same as if you take Firearms: 1, Pistols: 3, Manhunter: 5. With 2 differences. First, you don't get the bas or concentration skill, only the specialization, and you don't have a minimum of 3.

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Next, can you improved invis an object? If you try to, wouldn't it simply raise your target numbers for the spell depending on how "refined" the object is? Does this present problems for your group? I know Dr. Arhill does this in Ivy & Chrome. Did that writer make a mistake?

This hasn't ever come up for us I don't think... But it shouldn't be a problem, and should probably be object resistance, though the spell text implies that it is still just 4. it says "if the person or thing" yadda yadda... so, you should be able to use it on objects as well.

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Also, how should one deal with a mage who casts invis on a character and then sustains it a few hundred yards away and out of sight? I've been toying with a house rule that you can only sustain a spell on a target you can't see based upon a force test multiplied by your magic rating similar to how some detection spells are done. Otherwise, what's to stop your mage from popping 8-9 different buffs on your Physad who then goes on a Jack Bauer style stealth mission while the mage is miles away & safe.

Well, each spell is at +2 to the targert number to cast it and for its drain for each other spell currently being sustained. So realistically, you'll only get 2 or 3. You shouldn't need to worry about it. We play letting magicians sustain spells on anyone... though yes, they would probably drop off after awhile. The casting magician should probably be in the general vacinity (even outside of the building should be ok).

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Finally, I noticed that Gas Vents once installed cannot be removed. Is this why the vindicator minigun is considered so much Grade-A bang bang? Because it comes with no accessories meaning it can be buffed with a GV 4 + other goodies? If that is the case, then why doesn't everyone use a pimped out AK-97? It also comes with no accessories allowing it to take a GV 4 + goodies.

Well, mainly becuase the HVAR is better (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) But yeah, you can put all of those things onto guns that don't have them, as long as they fit. If you remember about the barrel weight and have a decent strength, you can have 0 recoil on the HVAR, or AK or whatever. I was unaware that they could not be removed, but, ah well.

QUOTE (Frieza_Prexus @ May 27 2009, 05:33 PM) *
Edit: I also acquired a complete and unpunched (well, not anymore heh) copy of DMZ. How the heck, do you fold the dragon minis and what on earth are the square and triangle shaped holes for?

I've never seen a real copy of it. It looks hilarious though.

EDIT:
Since you're worried about mages doing crazy things, I'll warn you about a few spells that you should probably not let them (ab)use.

Temper: Makes something have a barrier rating. This can easily be used on clothes for instance, and when accompanied by the Armor spell, makes for an absurd armor rating. You can either (well, obviously, 'do nothing' is an option (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif) ) ban the spell or have it make everything it's used on very stiff so you can't use it as armor.

Disregard: Basically, it's a friendly version of the spirit power Alienate. It doesn't seem like it's the greatest spell of all time at first glance, but having played with it, it effectively makes you able to walk through all (living) security and like, knife them in the face while they stand there and let you. It's more powerful than it seems and can also easily be abused.

Let me know how running Harlequin goes though, it's probably my favorite of the adventure books. Harlequin's Back was really fun too though...

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Larsine
post May 28 2009, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (Chibu @ May 28 2009, 12:01 AM) *
<DMZ> I've never seen a real copy of it. It looks hilarious though.


Trust me, it's not hilarious. It's a boring miniatures games disguised as a SR add on. Spend you money on something else unlesse you are a fanatic collector like me.

Lars
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Frieza_Prexus
post May 28 2009, 04:53 PM
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Yeah, I got it for the cardboard minis.

But the dragons still bug me. How are they supposed to fold? I have a few ideas, but I don't wanna try anything unless I'm certain that's how is "supposed" to go. Yeah, I'm like that.
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