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> Shadowrun dice pool question
daddystabz
post Jun 9 2009, 10:10 PM
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The guy who will be GM'ing our local upcoming Shadowrun 4th. edition game is concerned about dice pools. We are aware of the optional dice pool cap rule and intend to use it. He is specifically concerned by one starting character who claims he will be able to roll 18 dice for his pistols right out of the box. However, the GM I think is a bit confused because he believes you are limited by the following section under "Skill Ratings" in the 20th. anniversary core rulebook:

"A modified skill cannot exceed the base
skill rating x 1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with
the Aptitude quality)".

He thinks this would cap the available dice to this player, thus making an 18 dice pistols pool impossible. He seems to be getting caught up on SKILL and not taking into account that you can go beyond this with qualities, smartlinks, etc. He believes the word "modified" covers all that stuff. I am trying to show that the word "modified" only means modified by cyberware/bioware, not taking into account smartlinked weapons, qualities, etc. It even states in the same section that you can also get bonuses from spells, and other things but it does not change the base skill rating, meaning that your skill does not change as a result, you just get the bonus dice.

Can someone please explain this all so I can link him to it here?

Thanks in advance!
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Malachi
post Jun 9 2009, 10:16 PM
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QUOTE (SR4A p. 118, 121)
The unmodified skill rating assigned at character creation or purchased
during game play is considered to be the character’s base skill
rating. Some abilities and implants (as noted) may increase this rating,
creating a modified skill rating. A modified skill cannot exceed the base
skill rating x 1.5 (making 9 the maximum possible rating, or 10 with
the Aptitude quality). Specializations, spells, and other implants may
provide bonus dice to a skill, but do not change the base skill rating.

These extra dice are listed in parentheses after the base skill, as in
Spellcasting 4 (+2).

Emphasis mine. The key is to look at the source of the extra and see if it tells you that it modifies the rating, or provides a bonus.
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tsuyoshikentsu
post Jun 10 2009, 01:37 AM
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18 dice for a pistol isn't really that hard. 8 ability + 6 skill + 2 specialization + 2 smartlink = 18.
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TheOOB
post Jun 10 2009, 06:31 AM
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A dice pool is (usually) made of three parts: attribute, skill, and modifiers. Attributes are normally limited by your metatype, and skills are limited to 6 normally. There is, however, no limit to your modifiers.

For example, the listed example of the 18 dice pool pistol: Agility 8(attribute), Pistol 6(skill), Specialization 2(modifier), smartlink 2(modifier).

There is an optional rule in SR4A that has you limit your total dice pool to either 20, or 2x(attribute+skill), which in this case would be 28.

Here is the tricky part. While modifiers are very common, there are things that augment attributes or skills, and don't count as modifiers. For example, muscle toner bioware increases your agility, and a reflex recorder increases your skill. These increases are subject to the augmented attribute/skill caps(1.5xnormal max). However, some things thay may seem like skill increases are not, for example a synthacardium gives a bonus to all athletics checks, but it's not a skill booster.
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Critias
post Jun 10 2009, 06:46 AM
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One thing that'd be handy to clear up this sort of thing would be a master list somewhere, of what counted towards those augmented maximums (for attribute and skill rating) and what didn't (yay, just plain extra dice to roll). Unfortunately, no such list seems to exist so you're left looking them up one piece of gear at a time, and having to make a note of it or somesuch.
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TheOOB
post Jun 10 2009, 06:48 AM
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QUOTE (Critias @ Jun 10 2009, 02:46 AM) *
One thing that'd be handy to clear up this sort of thing would be a master list somewhere, of what counted towards those augmented maximums (for attribute and skill rating) and what didn't (yay, just plain extra dice to roll). Unfortunately, no such list seems to exist so you're left looking them up one piece of gear at a time, and having to make a note of it or somesuch.


When reading the item, it's pretty easy to tell if it is a modifier or an attribute/skill increases. Attribute/skill increases will say they increase the attribute/skill, while modifiers say they give bonuses or extra dice to tests. It's fairly consistent.
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Draco18s
post Jun 10 2009, 06:52 AM
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Tell him you'll play a face who can throw 40 dice. Out of the box. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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tsuyoshikentsu
post Jun 10 2009, 07:41 AM
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Now, now. It's not nice to play Pornomancers....
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deek
post Jun 10 2009, 01:01 PM
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You could always use the social skill modifier cap as a blanket rule to all modifiers. I think it limits the max dice you can get off of modifiers to you skill (or attribute)...

But per RAW, the 18 die pool starting shooter is perfectly legal. Most, if not all of my players are throwing 14-16 dice when shooting...out of the gate. The key is to make sure you have all the negative modifiers applied. Very rarely are you standing out in the open in clear daylight shooting. Once you have cover you are looking at -2 or -4 and when you get into subpar lighting or smoke, you are taking another -2 to -6. So, that right there drops the die pool down -4. Add in running (which is fairly common) for another -2 and maybe some wound modifiers...it all adds up pretty quick...
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Kingboy
post Jun 10 2009, 06:15 PM
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QUOTE (deek @ Jun 10 2009, 08:01 AM) *
You could always use the social skill modifier cap as a blanket rule to all modifiers. I think it limits the max dice you can get off of modifiers to you skill (or attribute)...


There is no "modifier cap" for social skills that I am aware of. It sounds like you are referencing the limits to dice provided by Social Skills if you are using a non-native Language, which modifies the dice received from Social Skills, not modifiers:

QUOTE (SR4A @ pg. 130)
Charisma-linked Skills and Language
When a character attempts to infuence someone using another language, her persuasive ability is limited by her ability to convey ideas and concepts in that language. To refect this, whenever a character uses a Charisma-linked Social skill to interact with another character in a non-native tongue, the Social skill dice used may not exceed the character’s Language skill rating.


Emphasis added.
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deek
post Jun 10 2009, 06:24 PM
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I'm referring to SR4A pg. 130 (same page, a few paragraphs later)

Unless otherwise noted, Opposed Test modifiers only affect one
character or another—usually the acting character—but not both.
Cumulative positive Social Modifiers may not exceed the character’s
combined natural Attribute + Skill Ratings.


So a Natural 5 Charisma with max Skill Group of 4 can only get a +9 positive modifier to a test.
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Kingboy
post Jun 10 2009, 06:27 PM
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Proof then that I need to go eat, brain sugars are obviously too low. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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deek
post Jun 10 2009, 06:30 PM
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QUOTE (Kingboy @ Jun 10 2009, 02:27 PM) *
Proof then that I need to go eat, brain sugars are obviously too low. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

Haha. Honestly, I only know about this because there was a lot of crapping on the initial SR4A changes on this forum a few weeks ago and one of the "nerfs" pointed out was how Pornomancers were dead in SR4A because of this cap.
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Malachi
post Jun 10 2009, 08:12 PM
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QUOTE (deek @ Jun 10 2009, 12:30 PM) *
Haha. Honestly, I only know about this because there was a lot of crapping on the initial SR4A changes on this forum a few weeks ago and one of the "nerfs" pointed out was how Pornomancers were dead in SR4A because of this cap.

I would like to say it were so, but the ridiculous build is still there. You can still create a Changeling Elf with Metageneic Improvement (or whatever the name is) then go to Augmentation and get that gene treatment that increases your maximum again. It still comes out pretty high.
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hobgoblin
post Jun 10 2009, 11:04 PM
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QUOTE (tsuyoshikentsu @ Jun 10 2009, 09:41 AM) *
Now, now. It's not nice to play Pornomancers....

meh, just make them face asexual cyborgs, AI's, critters and drones...
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daddystabz
post Jun 10 2009, 11:16 PM
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This social skill cap seems to only cap the dice from the skill itself and not outside dice pool bonuses from other sources.
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tsuyoshikentsu
post Jun 10 2009, 11:21 PM
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QUOTE (Malachi @ Jun 10 2009, 12:12 PM) *
I would like to say it were so, but the ridiculous build is still there. You can still create a Changeling Elf with Metageneic Improvement (or whatever the name is) then go to Augmentation and get that gene treatment that increases your maximum again. It still comes out pretty high.

You end up losing something like three dice. It doesn't help that a lot of stuff has come out since the original build, so the most current build is actually better in that its dice pool is far less reliant on situational modifiers.

Ah, found it. Here you are, the SR4A all books Pornomancer. Total DP is 45. Oh, by the way -- if you see a way of getting one more bonus die, I'd appreciate it.
[ Spoiler ]


QUOTE (daddystabz @ Jun 10 2009, 03:16 PM) *
This social skill cap seems to only cap the dice from the skill itself and not outside dice pool bonuses from other sources.

Read it again.
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