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Kovu Muphasa
post Jan 22 2010, 04:33 AM
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This may be coming up in a game

1] The Characters Has Ambidexterity and uses 2 Vipers
Could he Fire at 4 different targets?

2] The Second one is we are thinking of using the Alternate Combat ranged combat as a Success Test with a threshold based on range.
We were wondering if anyone was using it and how well is it working and how do you handle dodge?


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hahnsoo
post Jan 22 2010, 05:01 AM
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In Shadowrun 4th edition, you'd have to split your dice pool for both of your Simple Actions. Let's say you have a 7 Agility and 6 Pistols +2 Specialization for Semi-Automatics which include Viper Sliverguns (no Smartlink or Laser Sight bonus). You'd roll 15 dice, but to shoot both pistols in the same Simple Action, you'd have to split it between the two shots. So, perhaps you'd go with 7 dice on the primary target and 8 dice on the secondary target. For the second target, you'd suffer a -2 Dice Pool penalty. You'd end up rolling 7 dice on the primary target and 6 dice on the secondary target.

The second Simple Action, you are firing at a 3rd and 4th target. You split the Dice Pool again, 7 and 8 dice. The 3rd and 4th target are at -4 and -6 respectively, so you are rolling 3 dice and 2 dice (Icky!). It gets worse, though...

You said you are firing Viper Sliverguns. If they are in Burst Fire mode, you are going to take some recoil penalties. Any uncompensated recoil applies to BOTH rolls. Let's say you have a total of 3 points of Recoil Compensation (not unreasonable for Sliverguns). You will have 2 points of uncompensated recoil for both guns. This gives you a total of -4 for both guns of uncompensated recoil (2 for each gun). This means that the 3rd and 4th target rolls are impossible if you are Burst Firing. Hopefully, you're using them in Semi-Automatic mode.

So the penalties that you'll have to put into play:
1) -2 dice for each additional target beyond the first (Multiple Targets, p152 SR4A)
2) Dice Pool is split when firing at two targets (Attacker Using a Second Firearm, p150 SR4A)
3) Smartlink and Laser Sight do not apply (Attacker Using a Second Firearm, p150 SR4A)
4) Uncompensated Recoil for either weapon applies to both weapons (Attacker Using a Second Firearm, p150 SR4A)

Jack up your Pistols dice pool as high as it will go, since you probably aren't going to make spectacular hits without a lot of Edge. Tacnet bonuses, Bioware, Adept Powers, etc. can boost you to above 20 dice fairly easily, which will make this impressive feat of shooting a bit more bearable.

EDIT: Also, remember that Viper Sliverguns have been errata'ed to have +5 AP (Impact) rather than their old +2 value. The 8P(f) damage is still nice, but armored targets fare better.
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Kovu Muphasa
post Jan 22 2010, 05:10 AM
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IIRC he has 11 dice.
The Question restated
Simple Action #1]-Fires Viper #1 at Thug #1 & Thug #2 and then Viper #2 at Thug #3 and Thug #4
Simple Action #2] Repeat
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hahnsoo
post Jan 22 2010, 05:16 AM
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QUOTE (Kovu Muphasa @ Jan 22 2010, 01:10 AM) *
IIRC he has 11 dice.
The Question restated
Simple Action #1]-Fires Viper #1 at Thug #1 & Thug #2 and then Viper #2 at Thug #3 and Thug #4
Simple Action #2] Repeat
This cannot be done, under the rules (Bursts can only be fired at one target for each burst, per Multiple Targets p154 SR4A). You'd have to fire:
Simple Action #1 - Viper 1 at Thug 1, Viper 2 at Thug 3
Simple Action #2 - Viper 1 at Thug 2, Viper 2 at Thug 4

The second Simple Action would be so impossible as to be worthless. You'd do something like a 5/6 die split for your Dice Pool (remember, Smartlink and Laser Sights do NOT count), which would mean rolling 5 dice for Thug 1, 4 dice for Thug 3 (-2 penalty for 2nd target), and then the 2nd simple action would be -4 for Thug 2 and -6 for Thug 4 (not including recoil modifiers). There's no way you can split your 11 dice to make it so that you can hit both people.

In theory, you'd be able to hit 3 with lucky dice rolls:
Simple Action #1 - 5/6 split, with 5 dice against Thug 1, 4 dice against Thug 2 (-2 penalty)
Simple Action #2 - 11 dice, -4 dice for 3rd target against Thug 3, for 7 dice rolled.
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Kovu Muphasa
post Jan 22 2010, 05:28 AM
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Thank you, we thought this was the case.

What about Question #2
2] The Second one is we are thinking of using the Alternate Combat ranged combat as a Success Test with a threshold based on range.
We were wondering if anyone was using it and how well is it working and how do you handle dodge?
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The Jopp
post Jan 22 2010, 06:34 AM
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A thing to remember is that the specialization is added AFTER the dicepool is split.

So skill 7(9) and AGI 5 becomes:
6+2 Dice target 1
6+2 Dice target 1 -2 for secondary target
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hahnsoo
post Jan 22 2010, 06:56 AM
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QUOTE (The Jopp @ Jan 22 2010, 02:34 AM) *
A thing to remember is that the specialization is added AFTER the dicepool is split.

So skill 7(9) and AGI 5 becomes:
6+2 Dice target 1
6+2 Dice target 1 -2 for secondary target
This is definitely a point of contention on these forums. Some view this as rules-lawyering that is counter to the spirit of the rules, while others are happy to take any bonuses that they can get their hands on. Note that if you do go down this path (all modifiers after the split), you open yourself up to the "5 Stun Bolts against a single target" cheese and other atrocities that can make your games more... fun? *grin*

At any rate, with 11 dice, even with specialization, you have a raw deal going for you.
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Udoshi
post Jan 22 2010, 07:03 AM
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Actually, if you're an Adept, the Heightened Concentration power from digital grimoire should make this bearable. It lets you ignore a dice pool penalty from -one- source, up to your magic. Lets say 5 or 6.

There's nothing you can do about splitting your dice pool, but you could ignore the -2 from additional targets OR the recoil, whichever is worse, for each roll.

If you're running a tacnet 1 on yourself, and smartlink then pilot upgrade your guns so they count as drones, you can squeeze an extra dice out of your smartlink while two-weaponing. You -could- get more dice, but meeting the minimum size for a tacnet is the limiting factor here.
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Zolhex
post Jan 22 2010, 07:12 AM
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Here's a question for people to go over:

You have the human metavariant with 4 arms and Ambidexterity on the 3 off arms thus negateing the die pool negitives your fireing predators in each hand each gun can be fired twice per action can you fire all 4 guns twice?

all at the same target and/or 4 different targets?

Add in what ever bio/cyber/magic/adept powers would help to get this done.

I ask because other than hey I want to stand out as a character I see no use for a 4 (or even 6) armed character.
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Udoshi
post Jan 22 2010, 07:29 AM
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I've a build i've been messing around with in my free time that basically focuses on this. Only off-and-on, but if there's any interset, i could drag up my notes.
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Medicineman
post Jan 22 2010, 10:02 AM
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I'm playing an Elfen Nartaki
that is a MinMaxed Ki-Gun-Bunny (Male Form Gun-Bunner ?)
His Pools are between 4-8 Dice Each ,depending what Weapons combination he uses.
More than two or three Weapons is only usefull under good conditions because all Modifiers (Specialisation on the Plus but Range,Visibility,Wounds,etc on the Minus) are added after Poolsplitting.
What makes him so damned interesting is his versabilty ! (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

all at the same target and/or 4 different targets?
it is possible to aim at 4 different Targets even without penalty for switching(cause you aren't switching a Target !!) but 4 Pistols means a Pool of 4-5 Dice each (Minus other Penalties)
so unless your in a "High Noon Duel" don't try this
(My favorite Combination ist Assault Rifle(Nitama Optimum f.E.) + 2 Ingram Smart X's )

He who dances like Shiva
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The Jopp
post Jan 22 2010, 10:17 AM
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The problem with NOT allowing specialization for each individual hand makes it impossible to play a moderately skilled multi-limbed character.

Skill 4 / Agi 4 / Spec+2

Now, we assume a maxed out Multi limbed character - 15 quality points on Ambidexterity and Changeling 3 with 30 points into Kali Arms. Thats X6 arms.

Attacking 6 targets, NOT counting extra target penalties and assuming that specialization is added into pool.
10/6=1,66 round up to 2.

2D6 per target...then we add possible dicepoo modifiers = They cannot hit squat.

Adding spec later we have 8/6=1,33 rounding down to nearest whole number = 1 + Specialisation = 3D6 per target.

Not much better.

On the other hand, if we modify a Slivergun to shoot full auto, give it to Six Hand Pete and allow him to give covering fire...

Thats a LOT of slivers going someones way regardless of what rule you use.

Scary thing is that glitching becomes worse the more guns you use.

SUGGESTION: Count TOTAL dicepool when determining glitches as that is the actual skill pool and not each split of a skill pool.
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Traks
post Jan 22 2010, 03:43 PM
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There is two pistols using guy among my players.
Ambidexterity is must.
I do not remember why but he uses lasersights for both. Didn't know you can't use them with two guns either.
Those are SA pistols, so recoil is not that bad. He gets 7/7 for first shot and 5/4 for secod, sometimes penalties.
Not switching targets usually, because armored ones don't die that quick and because of -2 severe penalty.
Overall you need adept for bonus dice, and some tweaking to get it running properly.
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Whipstitch
post Jan 22 2010, 06:17 PM
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Yeah, it's rather important to disallow the use of smartlinks and laser sights if you want to keep John Woo style in line with other pistol shooting methods. But with that said, the weapons that can be dual wielded tend to have some accuracy issues beyond pretty short ranges, so the two gunner at my table has found that keeping his guns smartlinked is a good idea anyway, since there's plenty of situations in which putting one gun aside and keeping your full dicepool can be the smart move-- Trying to two gun an opposing prime runner from across the street while he's behind partial cover on a rain-slicked Seattle night is a great way to hit everything down range but your target.

Personally, my favorite method of carrying a gun in each hand was simply using two smart-linked Ruger Warhawks and firing them individually on each pass to get around the single shot issue (a reasonably balanced option when you consider that Warhawks are inconvenient and that Ambidexterity will set you back 5 points lest you eat the offhand penalty), but that's not really all that special anymore now that Arsenal includes the expanded firing selection option.
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TheOneRonin
post Jan 23 2010, 02:43 PM
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QUOTE (Kovu Muphasa @ Jan 22 2010, 12:28 AM) *
Thank you, we thought this was the case.

What about Question #2
2] The Second one is we are thinking of using the Alternate Combat ranged combat as a Success Test with a threshold based on range.
We were wondering if anyone was using it and how well is it working and how do you handle dodge?



I've been running ranged combat that way since SR4 came out. My group and I love it, but it's not for everyone. The net affect is that it prolongs ranged combat. There are a LOT more missed shots (we play cover as modifying the threshold), and it makes the distinctions between weapons much greater. It also makes combat last long enough for those fire/maneuver tactics to actually come into play. But bet warned, if the gun bunnies in your group are used to landing most of their shots, this change may frustrate them.

As far as for how we handle dodge, it works like this:

Slash the runner shoots at Bob the security guard
1. The threshold is 2, slash gets 5 total hits.
2. This comes out to 3 net hits.
3. Bob either makes a Reaction only defense test, or uses up his next action to dodge, and rolls REA+DODGE.
4. Bob gets 2 hits on his defense test. This leaves Slash with 1 net hit.
5. Damage is base DV + 1 for the one net hit. Guard rolls soak test...etc.



One of the great benefits of this change is how it lets me handle the human shield/hostage situations.

For example, your base threshold might be 3, and if the guy is holding a human hostage, it might jump up to 5. If you get 5 or more hits, then you hit the target. But if you only get 1 - 4 hits, you hit the hostage.

It's way more elegant than the way the base rules handle such a situation.


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Kovu Muphasa
post Jan 23 2010, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE (TheOneRonin @ Jan 23 2010, 10:43 AM) *
I've been running ranged combat that way since SR4 came out. My group and I love it, but it's not for everyone. The net affect is that it prolongs ranged combat. There are a LOT more missed shots (we play cover as modifying the threshold), and it makes the distinctions between weapons much greater. It also makes combat last long enough for those fire/maneuver tactics to actually come into play. But bet warned, if the gun bunnies in your group are used to landing most of their shots, this change may frustrate them.

As far as for how we handle dodge, it works like this:

Slash the runner shoots at Bob the security guard
1. The threshold is 2, slash gets 5 total hits.
2. This comes out to 3 net hits.
3. Bob either makes a Reaction only defense test, or uses up his next action to dodge, and rolls REA+DODGE.
4. Bob gets 2 hits on his defense test. This leaves Slash with 1 net hit.
5. Damage is base DV + 1 for the one net hit. Guard rolls soak test...etc.



One of the great benefits of this change is how it lets me handle the human shield/hostage situations.

For example, your base threshold might be 3, and if the guy is holding a human hostage, it might jump up to 5. If you get 5 or more hits, then you hit the target. But if you only get 1 - 4 hits, you hit the hostage.

It's way more elegant than the way the base rules handle such a situation.

Thank you, we tried some playtest last night and we were coming to these conclusions, so we will be giving it a try.
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hahnsoo
post Jan 23 2010, 08:57 PM
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The point of the Threshold based on range is to remove the Opposed test (it says so right on the alternate combat rules section). Thus, you would remove the dodge rolls, if you were going this route. All you are doing in your version is replacing the negative dice pool penalties for range with an increased threshold needed for hits, essentially giving defenders auto-hits on their dodge rolls. You would get a statistically similar effect by upping the range penalties to -3 for Medium, -6 for Long, and -9 for Extreme range. It seems to me that the point of that alternate rule is to remove the dodge test (in other words, it's for people who don't like humans who can dodge bullets). Not that I'd ever tell someone that they are playing their own game incorrectly, but why add the threshold if you aren't going to remove the Opposed test?

The gunbunnies in my group regularly roll 20 dice plus, with an improved rangefinder and scopes to reduce range penalties, so this rule (in TheOneRonin's version or the SR4A version) really wouldn't change their lethality much. It makes all Rifle-class-and-higher weapons more powerful compared to other firearms, because range matters much more. I've rarely run a combat beyond the 50 meter short range of an Assault Rifle.
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TheOneRonin
post Jan 24 2010, 09:47 PM
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QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Jan 23 2010, 03:57 PM) *
The point of the Threshold based on range is to remove the Opposed test (it says so right on the alternate combat rules section). Thus, you would remove the dodge rolls, if you were going this route.


I just looked at that section in my SR4 book, and here is what I found:
QUOTE (SR4 @ PG 69)
Alternate Combat
While the advanced Shadowrun rules will explore a variety of combat options, you can also consider one of
these methods:
• Rather than handling all combat as an Opposed Test, you can handle ranged combat as a Success Test with
a threshold based on range (1 Short, 2 Medium, 3 Long, 4 Extreme). Some situational modifers will affect
threshold rather than dice pool, such as blind fi re, cover, etc.
• To cut down on dice rolling during combat, you could drop Damage Resistance Tests entirely, reducing combat
to a single Opposed Test. In this case, Armor would deduct directly from the attack’s DV.



I can see how you would read the intent there as removing the dodge test since you are "replacing" the opposed test with a success test. However, if you use those rules exactly as written on page 69, I would AT LEAST allow a dodge test if the target is on full defense. Otherwise, you nullify the "Full Defense" option and the Dodge Skill when it comes to ranged combat.


QUOTE
All you are doing in your version is replacing the negative dice pool penalties for range with an increased threshold needed for hits, essentially giving defenders auto-hits on their dodge rolls. You would get a statistically similar effect by upping the range penalties to -3 for Medium, -6 for Long, and -9 for Extreme range. It seems to me that the point of that alternate rule is to remove the dodge test (in other words, it's for people who don't like humans who can dodge bullets). Not that I'd ever tell someone that they are playing their own game incorrectly, but why add the threshold if you aren't going to remove the Opposed test?


Well, for starters, I use slightly different range thresholds than what is listed in the book. Secondly, it's not a straight trade-off. One of the problems I have with the dice penalties system in the book is how easy it is to make a shot completely impossible without the use of Edge. I think most SR4 players are fine with that, but it really rubs me the wrong way. Look at it this way...if I have a 12 dice pool, and the penalties add up to -12, then I automatically miss the shot if I don't use edge. However, if i'm using thresholds, and the threshold is 12, I still have a chance. A VERY slim chance, but a chance nonetheless. It's like in the older versions of SR when your Samurai had only 6 dice, and the Target Number was something like 21. SUPER unlikely, for sure, but certainly not an automatic miss.

In general (in my games, at least) threshold numbers almost never exceed dicepools, at least for those people who are particularly skilled at the task. So, you have REALLY, REALLY difficult shots, but almost no shots that are impossible without Edge (if you have a reasonable dice pool).

Something else it changes, at least it FEELS like a change, is the inevitability of a hit. Think about this...statistically, having 3 dice on a test pretty much guarantees a single hit. So, even if start with 18 dice, but penalties put you down to 3, you still will technically get a hit. Now the target might nullify that hit by successes on a dodge test, but otherwise, you still technically hit. What this does, IMO is generate a feel that all extra dice do is really increase the amount of damage you do when you actually do hit. Even penalties only REALLY end up reducing how much damage you do...either that, or the shot just goes almost straight to impossible (0 dice after penalties).

I'm sure someone's done the math, and it probably doesn't happen EXACTLY like I described, but that was the feeling my group and I got after running SR4 for a few months. Changing over to thresholds has made a huge difference for us, and really upped our enjoyment level. Plus it creates opportunities like flanking maneuvers and other such tactics that take time to pull off.


QUOTE
The gunbunnies in my group regularly roll 20 dice plus, with an improved rangefinder and scopes to reduce range penalties, so this rule (in TheOneRonin's version or the SR4A version) really wouldn't change their lethality much.


That's a LOT of dice. But in my rules, it actually WOULD change things, especially since I have house rules for Scopes/Image Mag and use different thresholds than the book suggests for range. Heck, with 20 dice, you can expect about what...6 - 7 hits on average? Yeah, it's not outlandish to have thresholds that high or higher in my games, especially if you are trying to do something silly like move laterally while trying to fire a scoped sniper rifle from the shoulder at a moving target.


QUOTE
It makes all Rifle-class-and-higher weapons more powerful compared to other firearms because range matters much more.


Funny how it's like that in real life too. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)


QUOTE
I've rarely run a combat beyond the 50 meter short range of an Assault Rifle.



In my games, I've changed pretty much all of the range categories, but yes, most combat in my games usually takes place with the opponents less than 50m away. But there is enough combat that occurs at much greater ranges to make a big difference.

Also, look at it this way...with a target at 50M, the pistol shooter is dealing with an Extreme Range threshold (4 if you use the numbers on Page 69), while the AR shooter is still at short range.

If both shooters have 15 dice with their respective weapons, the pistol shooter will likely end up with 1 hit beyond the 4 needed for the threshold, while the AR shooter will end up with 4 hits beyond the 1 needed to connect at short range. That alone is a pretty substantial deal.
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Rystefn
post Jan 25 2010, 02:53 AM
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So you use the range threshold as well as defense rolls... I think I like that idea. I always felt like things that take dice away should be things that directly affect your skill.... firing on the move, using your off-hand, that kind of thing. Range doesn't affect your skill, it affects the difficulty of the shot. That seems to feel like the sort of thing a threshold defines to me. I will consider this, but I must say that at first brush, I like the idea.
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booher
post Jan 25 2010, 03:09 AM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Jan 22 2010, 05:02 AM) *
I'm playing an Elfen Nartaki



Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Nartaki a human metavariant?
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hahnsoo
post Jan 25 2010, 03:12 AM
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QUOTE (TheOneRonin @ Jan 24 2010, 04:47 PM) *
I can see how you would read the intent there as removing the dodge test since you are "replacing" the opposed test with a success test. However, if you use those rules exactly as written on page 69, I would AT LEAST allow a dodge test if the target is on full defense. Otherwise, you nullify the "Full Defense" option and the Dodge Skill when it comes to ranged combat.
The point is moot, because that's not what you do in your games, anyway. You allow the defense roll AND you add a Threshold success test, creating a bizarre hybrid system which has no analog in other areas of SR4A (as far as I know). I'm just stating what the book says, and it says to replace the Opposed Test with a Threshold-based success test.

You claim that you make thresholds that:
QUOTE
In general (in my games, at least) threshold numbers almost never exceed dicepools, at least for those people who are particularly skilled at the task. So, you have REALLY, REALLY difficult shots, but almost no shots that are impossible without Edge (if you have a reasonable dice pool).
I've yet to run into any situation using normal ranged combat rules where shots are impossible without Edge. You may have to take aim for a couple actions or cut back on the full auto madness, but ever since Cover now counts as part of the Defense roll rather than a penalty to the Offense roll, it's difficult to accumulate enough negative dice pool modifiers to nullify dice pool completely. Still, raising Thresholds are the equivalent of applying a -3 dice pool penalty, but not reducing the possibility of a full dice pool, so I can see how it can give better parity in terms of penalty versus ability.

However, it seems to me that this is a psychological feeling rather than a rational one, as follows:
QUOTE
I'm sure someone's done the math, and it probably doesn't happen EXACTLY like I described, but that was the feeling my group and I got after running SR4 for a few months. Changing over to thresholds has made a huge difference for us, and really upped our enjoyment level. Plus it creates opportunities like flanking maneuvers and other such tactics that take time to pull off.

I can't honestly see how your system is "better", other than giving you warm fuzzies. I'm not meaning this as an insult, but as an objective outside observer. You seem to be saying "the way we do it is better!", but I'm not finding objective reasons why it would be better. It doesn't speed up play, because it doesn't cut down on resolution and dice rolls. It makes penalties for range harsher, in general, and it forces you to either acknowledge the superiority of Rifles (which is a game that we all could play... make Shadowrun just like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, except without the UMP 45 cheese!), or adjust your range modifiers (which is what you have done, it appears), adding more house rules to the mess.

To be fair, I don't like SR4's combat system. It involves too many dice rolls to execute simple things, without complicated and meaningful results in the process (as opposed to, say, One Roll Engine, where you make simple dice rolls that have complicated and meaningful results that make sense). But adding a threshold while keeping the number of dice rolls needed to execute a ranged combat success test seems like adding complexity just for the sake of complexity. I'd add a threshold, but I'd also remove the defense roll or allow full defense to create a threshold that replaces the ranged threshold (rather than removing hits like the standard defense roll). This way, the person can choose to stay under cover at long range or risk moving and dodging in fire. It also removes the dodge dice roll in ranged hit/damage resolution, which speeds up play by about 1/3rd.

I may bring this up at our next session. We use extensive house rules in our games, but each house rule is designed to simplify and remove sets of dice rolls that seemed arbitrary and meaningless. (Of course, this meant a total overhaul of the Hacking system *grin*) How do you run melee combat under your system, by the way? Is it the same?
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hahnsoo
post Jan 25 2010, 03:13 AM
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QUOTE (booher @ Jan 24 2010, 10:09 PM) *
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Nartaki a human metavariant?
It is. I think he just means "dude with multiple arms", rather than a true Nartaki. Besides, you can probably have most of the features of a Nartaki as a SURGE changeling without being part of an official metavariant.
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McCummhail
post Jan 25 2010, 04:30 AM
Post #23


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I enjoy running it with range/penalties as a threshold. We only allow dodge as an action dropping reaction from the standard range test.
This speeds things up a bit and makes reaction monkeys a non-issue. As mentioned above, cover is your friend and if you want to move you might have to dodge to get there.

The sniper likes it a lot as well.
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Medicineman
post Jan 25 2010, 09:57 AM
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QUOTE (booher @ Jan 24 2010, 10:09 PM) *
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Nartaki a human metavariant?

Normally yes...But I ain't quite normal (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)
It works with Surge .I gave him the same Background and Qualities (Hindu,1 Pair Shiva Arms (& Astral Gaze) and Golden Skin) like a "Normal Nartaki" only as an Elf instead of a Human

He who dances like Shiva
Medicineman
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