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> Why buy life styles?, make them serve a purpose
Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2009, 01:19 AM
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Oh. Well, sorry for responding in kind. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) I get uppity sometimes.
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Mercer
post Nov 30 2009, 01:22 AM
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I was just going to point out that "The hell is wrong with people around here anymore?" doesn't make any sense grammatically.

Or is this a bad time? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/ork.gif)
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Ol' Scratch
post Nov 30 2009, 01:50 AM
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I type with an obscure dialect. <nods sagely>
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Nov 30 2009, 02:48 AM
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QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Nov 29 2009, 06:50 PM) *
I type with an obscure dialect. <nods sagely>



Well then, That explains it...

Keep the Faith
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Ascalaphus
post Nov 30 2009, 09:05 AM
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The Meditation way to initiation does benefit from a good lifestyle, but I think that the whole point of Asceticism is doing without easy life; if you have big fat reserves, it would probably take you longer. It's one of those religious "being poor makes you purer" things.
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CanadianWolverin...
post Dec 1 2009, 01:03 AM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Nov 30 2009, 03:05 AM) *
The Meditation way to initiation does benefit from a good lifestyle, but I think that the whole point of Asceticism is doing without easy life; if you have big fat reserves, it would probably take you longer. It's one of those religious "being poor makes you purer" things.


Huh, somehow that doesn't quite ring true to me, I always got the impression it was just about having self control over your personal possessions, rather than always having "your money on your mind and your mind on your money". I don't know about what others have noticed, but I have noticed the richer someone is, the more they seem to worry about losing it and that fear, just like any other, can control (or be used to control) them rather than them controlling their fear.

With that in mind, I don't think having a higher lifestyle would make the Asceticism harder but having nothing to lose would make it easier. Think of it like a rich person who lives spartan, doesn't flaunt that wealth, and tries to leave a tiny a foot print on others as possible. Hope that makes some sense.
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Ol' Scratch
post Dec 1 2009, 01:32 AM
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You can have a Luxury Lifestyle if you really wanted to and still do the Asceticism ordeal. You just have to "buy" a Street Lifestyle for one month, too, and actually live that way for the duration. Having a permanent lifestyle or prepaying several months in advance doesn't prevent you from doing that.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 1 2009, 01:47 AM
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If game balance reasons, you need to make all your party members buy the same lifestyle.

For character optimisation purposes, always start with 1 month of a high lifestyle because it results in free money.
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Jericho Alar
post Dec 1 2009, 04:47 AM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Nov 30 2009, 08:47 PM) *
If game balance reasons, you need to make all your party members buy the same lifestyle.

For character optimisation purposes, always start with 1 month of a high lifestyle because it results in free money.


if it was for game balance purposes, I'd just make them buy the lifestyle they want their 'hideout' to be as a bunch of roommates and call it a day.

personally I think that having characters with varying lifestyles adds some fun depth to the interaction between those characters, but that could just be my table. (we do *love* our downtime..)
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 1 2009, 07:42 AM
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This is a bad idea. If their is any material advantage to having a high lifestyle, you'll killing street sammies and rewarding mages. Which hardly needs to happen I might add.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 1 2009, 10:32 AM
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I don't think there's such a major game balance issue there.. I've had episodes with people robbing the high-living fridge, that was cute. And in the first session of this campaign someone managed to nick another character's credstick - so much for starting money.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 1 2009, 10:47 AM
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Well, it just sucks out money that the street sammie desperately needs for gear.

Remember, your playing a game where street sammies advance with Nuyen, and mages advance with Karma. creating extra money sinks is functionally the same as giving more karma or less money which skews the balance towards mages. Who are pretty much already better so why give them a hand up.

People stealing money from other party members is just a dick move and I wouldn't let that fly in my game. It's like letting people steal karma from each other...
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Karoline
post Dec 1 2009, 11:23 AM
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I, like many others here, believe that the RP implications of lifestyle are enough on their own to warrant spending the nuyen on them. And as many have pointed out, there are 'hidden' benefits of having a good lifestyle, like free transportation, free nights on the town, free clothing, free food, and so on. Basically any time a person with a high lifestyle buys food/clothing/transportation, they don't have to pay for it (unless it is truly excessive) because it is assumed that their lifestyle picks up the tab.

Also, if your GM is any good at all and you try pulling off street lifestyle as being 'just as good as high', then you are going to run into trouble for all the following instances:
Clothing. You are going to be dressed like a dirty street hobo. Good luck getting into any good places (And even alot of bad ones) with that look.
Hygiene. The first time the enemy finds you because they made a perception(scent) check will be awesome.
Matrix. MSP is defined in lifestyle, thus if you have street lifestyle you have no MSP, and thus will have massive penalties on matrix actions.
Malnutrition. This is talked about in the book, but no specific rules are giving, thus the GM is fully justified in doing whatever she wants. Personally I'd be docking stats.
Travel. As well as your dirty hobo look getting you bared from clubs, it will also get you barred from certain areas and forms of travel.
Sleep. You have no security and no space, thus sleeping will be an issue if you don't want to be robbed blind. Sleep deprivation rules are finally in the game.
Stuff. You won't be able to own any more stuff than you can carry on you, which can be a real hindrance for most characters.
Other. I'm sure there are plenty of other things I'm forgetting here, but these are just the ones coming to mind off hand.

I know several of these can be lowered or mitigated completely with a low lifestyle, but, well, that was the whole point, higher lifestyles have higher benefits.

Edit: Oh, and high lifestyle to start the game with totally pays for itself in starting nuyen. And who keeps all their cash on a credstick any more?
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Heath Robinson
post Dec 1 2009, 12:00 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Dec 1 2009, 11:23 AM) *
Matrix. MSP is defined in lifestyle, thus if you have street lifestyle you have no MSP, and thus will have massive penalties on matrix actions.

Actually, an MSP is just a bunch of convenience services. Someone who doesn't have an MSP will be difficult to reach via the Matrix (since they don't have any unified contact address if they change 'link), and they won't have access to some crappy Agents running on a monitored node, but otherwise their Matrix works about as fine as can be expected from Neighbourhood and Necessities 0.


I find the fact that you don't tell your PCs that lifestyle means so much in your game a bit dickish. Don't give me none of that "R-E-A-L-I-S-M" crap. SR has never been a realistic game, and injecting any attempt at that into the game somewhere you don't tell people is just plain unexpected for a game where some people punch people in the face using exploding fists.
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Ascalaphus
post Dec 1 2009, 12:42 PM
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I still don't quite get what lifestyle has to do with game balance?
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Draco18s
post Dec 1 2009, 12:50 PM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Dec 1 2009, 07:42 AM) *
I still don't quite get what lifestyle has to do with game balance?


None. Its Plot.
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Karoline
post Dec 1 2009, 12:54 PM
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QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Dec 1 2009, 07:00 AM) *
Actually, an MSP is just a bunch of convenience services. Someone who doesn't have an MSP will be difficult to reach via the Matrix (since they don't have any unified contact address if they change 'link), and they won't have access to some crappy Agents running on a monitored node, but otherwise their Matrix works about as fine as can be expected from Neighbourhood and Necessities 0.


Hmm, I thought there was a section in unwired that talked about having penelties to certain matrix actions if you didn't have a good MSP. I guess I was remembering wrong. For some reason, despite how much I like playing hackers generally, I never really sat down and read Unwired through like most other books.

QUOTE
I find the fact that you don't tell your PCs that lifestyle means so much in your game a bit dickish. Don't give me none of that "R-E-A-L-I-S-M" crap. SR has never been a realistic game, and injecting any attempt at that into the game somewhere you don't tell people is just plain unexpected for a game where some people punch people in the face using exploding fists.


Who said I don't tell my PCs that lifestyles are important? I don't recall saying that, and I doubt you'd find any of my players claiming they've been unfairly punished for having a particular lifestyle. Most of the things I mentioned are in the book after all, including clothing, malnutrition, and sleep/security issues.

And you can't really say that 'any attempt to inject realism into the game is just plain unexpected' when it is done all the time. After all, the books never mention anything about not being able to see through solid walls, but I inject realism that you can't see through solid walls. It also fails to mention being able to see through glass, but I once again inject realism into the game. Mention of requiring air? There are rules for choking and drowning, but I don't think there is anything that stipulates that you require air in your surrounding environment to survive, thus I once again inject realism. And finally, there are no rules for being placed under a giant bolder and allowing it to crush someone, and yet, somehow, I don't think that players find it unexpected if such an action would turn them into a squishy smear, or at least break a few ribs.

Oh, right, and then there is food in the first place. There are no rules for malnutrition (that I recall), and so in theory no reason that a character ever has to eat anything, other than realism. So, don't give me any of that "R-E-A-L-I-S-M-I-S-N-T-P-A-R-T-O-F-T-H-E-G-A-M-E" crap, because you've played every single game via the use of a large injection of realism. This is an RPG for a dystopia fantasy type world that is based in a vaguely realistic world. RPGs don't provide everything in the universe. Things must be added, like realism. If you want a game that has everything already in it and requires no additions, play a computer game, there the rules are absolute and fixed. In a tabletop RPG the rules are fluid and the game requires input, imagination, and yes, a touch of realism and observations from real life.

Does the book mention that bullets aren't able to travel in a curve? You have no idea how much realism is in your game, so like I said, don't give me that crap.
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Heath Robinson
post Dec 1 2009, 04:31 PM
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QUOTE (Karoline @ Dec 1 2009, 12:54 PM) *
Who said I don't tell my PCs that lifestyles are important? I don't recall saying that, and I doubt you'd find any of my players claiming they've been unfairly punished for having a particular lifestyle. Most of the things I mentioned are in the book after all, including clothing, malnutrition, and sleep/security issues.

And you can't really say that 'any attempt to inject realism into the game is just plain unexpected' when it is done all the time. After all, the books never mention anything about not being able to see through solid walls, but I inject realism that you can't see through solid walls. It also fails to mention being able to see through glass, but I once again inject realism into the game. Mention of requiring air? There are rules for choking and drowning, but I don't think there is anything that stipulates that you require air in your surrounding environment to survive, thus I once again inject realism. And finally, there are no rules for being placed under a giant bolder and allowing it to crush someone, and yet, somehow, I don't think that players find it unexpected if such an action would turn them into a squishy smear, or at least break a few ribs.

Oh, right, and then there is food in the first place. There are no rules for malnutrition (that I recall), and so in theory no reason that a character ever has to eat anything, other than realism. So, don't give me any of that "R-E-A-L-I-S-M-I-S-N-T-P-A-R-T-O-F-T-H-E-G-A-M-E" crap, because you've played every single game via the use of a large injection of realism. This is an RPG for a dystopia fantasy type world that is based in a vaguely realistic world. RPGs don't provide everything in the universe. Things must be added, like realism. If you want a game that has everything already in it and requires no additions, play a computer game, there the rules are absolute and fixed. In a tabletop RPG the rules are fluid and the game requires input, imagination, and yes, a touch of realism and observations from real life.

Does the book mention that bullets aren't able to travel in a curve? You have no idea how much realism is in your game, so like I said, don't give me that crap.

I had assumed that your use of the term "hidden" in relation to the advantages of better lifestyle/disadvantages of a worse lifestyle was a case of a GM punishing players for not meeting the unspoken parameters of their game, or giving repeat players an unwarranted advantage, by just not indicating the problems with taking a lower lifestyle.

It would not be all too difficult to describe how to avoid some (not all) of the consequences you describe, and I presumed that experienced players would know these tricks and employ them to get away with fewer disadvantages than a newer player. The player characters are 'runners and should be presumed to have gained some experience at these kinds of things on their way up the ladder of for-hire criminals, I would just presume that they deploy them to maximum effectiveness without asking for any kind of description.

It seems, however, that I was mistaken about your actual position, and for that I would like to extend my apologies.



As to MSPs,
QUOTE (Page 201 @ Unwired)
MSP Services
Matrix service providers not only provide commcodes but are also the reliable backbone of the Matrix, providing public access points, satellite networks, data storage, and much more. A High lifestyle or better automatically grants access to Premium services. Purchased individually, one has to pay 1 to 10 nuyen per service in the Basic range, Advanced services cost 5 to 20 nuyen, and Premium services range from 50 to 100 nuyen. A valid bank account is needed to purchase Matrix services from most MSPs, though a few will work on a credstick-to-credstick basis.

Basic Services
Basic services include access to wireless access points in a country, one remote data storage location of unlimited size, and up to four commcodes. Furthermore a remotely run Rating 1 agent with Browse and Edit programs (Rating 1) is available. Basic Matrix services are included with a Low lifestyle.


Usually, in a city, you can get free access somewhere. However, one wonders what the hell these "access points" even do, since the network is a self-healing mesh instead of modern wireless. That mention of "access points" seems awfully confused. Nonetheless, an MSP is not apparently vital for a physical or mystical character, but it is helpful. It is totally vital if you intend your character to be Matrix-focussed, though. You can, however, purchase the services you want separate to your lifestyle if you want.
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Karoline
post Dec 1 2009, 06:09 PM
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Ah, I see. No, when I said 'hidden' benefits, I meant benefits that are only semi-outlined via the text, but are still there, but are often forgotten about. Most people forget that if they have a high lifestyle, when the meet the J at a club, they don't have to pay to get there or order food or drinks or get good clothing for the meet. If they have a street lifestyle they'll have to walk or pay a cab, they'll have to pay for any food they want out of pocket, heck they might even require a cover charge to get in the door. They'll also either show up in rags or once again have to pay out of pocket to get decent clothing.

All of these things are mentioned in the various descriptions of lifestyles, but most people tend to forget about that. You're right, there are ways to get around basically everything I outlined above, but virtually all of them are going to require the expenditure of nuyen. Water is not a near free commodity like it is in modern days, so a bath/shower will actually be hard to manage on the street without getting a night at a hotel or paying for some water or using dirty water (which mostly defeats the purpose). Similarly you can buy decent clothing, but that again costs money, and is likely to get ruined quickly if you live on the streets. I mean how many homeless people do you know? And how many of them are clean shaven, clean, wear good clothing, and don't draw any sort of attention when they walk into an establishment?

Anyway, I agree that unwired's description of what MSP does seems rather stupid as the wireless is already set up to be accessible from basically everywhere, and where it isn't, there won't be these access points. Commcodes seem like a bit of an oddity, as I thought they were particular to a commlink, but this seems to indicate they are the rough equivalent of an e-mail address. This brings up the question of how one tracks down a particular commlink, but that is a whole other issue.

The free agents are kinda handy though if you don't have a good datasearch skill and similar of your own and you aren't looking up anything particularly suspicious.
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Mercer
post Dec 1 2009, 06:16 PM
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QUOTE (Cthulhudreams @ Dec 1 2009, 07:42 AM) *
This is a bad idea. If their is any material advantage to having a high lifestyle, you'll killing street sammies and rewarding mages. Which hardly needs to happen I might add.


This is a good point, CD. Some character types don't need money as much as others, and it would benefit those characters over the others that need their money for things more closely tied to their advancement.

The solution to my mind is to make the magical characters pay the extra 10% in lifestyle costs and take the sammie on as a roommate.

(Personally, I think team lifestyles are too cheap and should probably be +50% of the lifestyle cost, but that's not the meeting we're having right now.)
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tagz
post Dec 1 2009, 08:37 PM
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QUOTE (Heath Robinson @ Dec 1 2009, 05:31 PM) *
As to MSPs,


Usually, in a city, you can get free access somewhere. However, one wonders what the hell these "access points" even do, since the network is a self-healing mesh instead of modern wireless. That mention of "access points" seems awfully confused. Nonetheless, an MSP is not apparently vital for a physical or mystical character, but it is helpful. It is totally vital if you intend your character to be Matrix-focussed, though. You can, however, purchase the services you want separate to your lifestyle if you want.

I always considered those access points to be public use terminals CAPABLE of wireless access to the rest of the matrix. This would let a runner who lost a commlink, is afraid of being traced to his personal comm, just doesn't have one (who the heck doesn't nowadays though?) access the matrix without an extra terminal fee and access to all their private commcodes etc. Just my interpretation though.
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Karoline
post Dec 1 2009, 09:17 PM
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QUOTE (tagz @ Dec 1 2009, 03:37 PM) *
I always considered those access points to be public use terminals CAPABLE of wireless access to the rest of the matrix. This would let a runner who lost a commlink, is afraid of being traced to his personal comm, just doesn't have one (who the heck doesn't nowadays though?) access the matrix without an extra terminal fee and access to all their private commcodes etc. Just my interpretation though.


I guess that would make sense. Sort of the modern day equivalent of pay phones or library computers, with membership meaning that you don't have to pay. Still, doesn't seem like something that would see much use, alot like the modern payphone, which is why they are harder and harder to find, because everyone has a cellphone, so why pay to have a payphone put up?
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tagz
post Dec 1 2009, 09:45 PM
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True, but that day you wrap your car around a fire hydrant and the cellphone went through the windshield you'd be looking for one. And there's a bit more use to it then just calling, since it has complete matrix functionality, could act as an ATM, shopping terminal, emergency dialing to lonestar or Docwagon... literally thousands of uses.

My group made good use of them actually. They were being hunted by a rogue AI (built as a prime runner). It had great tracking ability so they were afraid to use their own comms. Long story short they got split up and needed to keep in touch and the public terminals were the perfect thing. Use 'em for a short time them get outta Dodge.
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Karoline
post Dec 1 2009, 09:53 PM
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Yeah, Perhaps a more accurate comparison would be library computers, which are actually surprisingly popular. It is just that the game seems to set a person's PAN and commlink up as being almost as big a requirement for living as breathing. Heck, who am I kidding, get the right 'ware and you don't need to breath, your commlink is way more important.

It is after all a blackbarry, laptop, computer, notepad, iphone, PDA, credit card, cash, ID card, Drivers License, cellphone, regular phone, cookbook, wallet, and a billion other things all rolled into one. A person without a commlink can't make a phonecall, can't buy anything, can't prove who they are (easily), can't do alot of things that would be fairly required of day-to-day life.

Still, this is a completely different topic, though an interesting one.
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Cthulhudreams
post Dec 1 2009, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE (Mercer @ Dec 2 2009, 05:16 AM) *
This is a good point, CD. Some character types don't need money as much as others, and it would benefit those characters over the others that need their money for things more closely tied to their advancement.

The solution to my mind is to make the magical characters pay the extra 10% in lifestyle costs and take the sammie on as a roommate.

(Personally, I think team lifestyles are too cheap and should probably be +50% of the lifestyle cost, but that's not the meeting we're having right now.)


I just make everyone buy the same lifestyle (which is related to the tone of the game, running a 'street' game in which 4 players have squatter lifestyles and 1 guy has a high lifestyle is just retarded, and visa versa for an international jet set game in which 4 players are james bond and 1 guy has a squatter lifestyle.) - then I don't have to worry about it dealing with the sammie's oppotunity costs and long term power disparities.

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