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> House Rules, fixing the game rule by rule
Irion
post Feb 26 2011, 08:25 AM
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This thread is intended for everyone to write down his or her house rules fixing minor or major glitches in the original rule set.
Houserules written down here are also open for debate.

So show how I thought this to be, I am going to give some examples:

Problem: Unconscious oponents are more vulnerable to gel rounds, then to real amunition.
Fix: Lethal damage get worse. Half the amount of lethal damage (after soking) is substracted directly from the stun monitor (round up). If the stun monitor is full, the rules for damage overflow apply. Platelet Factories and Trauma Damper are applyed after the calculation of the additional stun damage and only to the original lethal damage.

Example: Urlak the Orc is shot with an Ares predator for 5 boxes of damage (lethal). He has a body of 6 and is wearing a lether jacked (2 armor).
So he is rolling is dieces getting 2 hits, thus reducing the damage to 5. Since he is just coming from a mean fist fight he only got 2 boxes left of his Stun monitor.
So he is filling up his stun monitor and reducing and applying 6 points of damage to his health monitor. A Platelet Factorie would reduce his health damage to 5, a Trauma Damper would have no effect at all.

What does also change: Well, overcasting is taking a bit of a hit, because of the additional stun damage.
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Thanee
post Feb 26 2011, 09:09 AM
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Some popular ones...

1) Extra BP for Contacts during character generation based on CHA (x2 or x3), in a similar fashion as the free Knowledge Skills.

2) Fake SINs are not compared in an opposed roll with a scanner, but rather the Rating is used as a threshold for the scanner test.

Some others I like...

3) Knowledge Skills can be used in the same manner as Teamwork to gain extra dice, where applicable.

4) Emotion Software works in the same way as a Teamwork test. Emotitoys only give one bonus die for every 2 hits on the Teamwork test.

5) Armor encumbrance is based on Strength x2 (or alternatively Body + Strength) instead of Body x2.

6) When overcasting, Drain is resisted twice (once for Physical and once for Stun). Also the part of the Force that exceeds the Magic Attribute isn't halved (i.e. when overcasting, DV = Magic / 2 (rounded down) + Force - Magic, which is the same as Force - Magic / 2 (rounded up)). For the Heal spell and when Summoning with a Force greater than Magic, Drain is resisted twice (once for Physical and once for Stun), but the DV is unchanged.

7) Drain from Banishing is only equal to the number of hits scored by the spirit (not twice the hits; minimum DV 1).

8) Drain from the Adrenal Pump is resisted using Body + Willpower.

9) Temporary Attribute increases (drugs, Attribute Boost, Adrenaline Pump, etc; but not sustained spells) can go beyond the augmented maximum, up to an absolute maximum of twice the natural maximum for the Attribute.

Bye
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TheOOB
post Feb 26 2011, 10:41 AM
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We use the karma creation system in our group...with a few modifications. All metatypes and special races have a cost equal to twice their BP cost in karma at character creation. All metatype attribute bonuses are applied after attributes are purchased(so an elf buying charisma 5 would pay the same as a human buying charisma 3). Maximum karma spent on attributes is 1/2 total karma, regardless of metatype, and special attributes are not included in this limit.

Other major house rule, stick-n-shock ammunition does not exist. Those wanting to do stun damage with firearms can stick to gel rounds, and those wanting the electric effect can use tasers, stun batons, shock gloves, and magic. Stick-n-Shock rounds are simply too good, and their expense is way too low for an item that will statistically take down most foes in a single shot.
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Irion
post Feb 26 2011, 11:26 AM
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@TheOOB
QUOTE
All metatype attribute bonuses are applied after attributes are purchased

Does this apply for Karma gained after generation too?
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Feb 26 2011, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE (Irion @ Feb 26 2011, 01:25 AM) *
This thread is intended for everyone to write down his or her house rules fixing minor or major glitches in the original rule set.
Houserules written down here are also open for debate.

So show how I thought this to be, I am going to give some examples:

Problem: Unconius oponents are more vulnerable to gel rounds, then to real amunition.
Fix: Lethal damage get worse. Half the amount of lethal damage (after soking) is substracted directly from the stun monitor (round up). If the stun monitor is full, the rules for damage overflow apply. Platelet Factories and Trauma Damper are applyed after the calculation of the additional stun damage and only to the original lethal damage.


Exactly why do you believe this? I am not sure about your conclusions on this one, which is why I am asking? Stun rolls over to Physical... Lethal Rounds ARE ALREADY Physical. So, assuming that your stun track is full, both types of rounds are equally lethal. How is the Unconscious opponent more vulnerable exactly? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wobble.gif)
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Irion
post Feb 26 2011, 07:17 PM
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@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
So yes I start with a full stun track.
As far as I know gel amunition gets +2 DV and +2 Armor. So it causes more damage on avarage.

But even if this was changed beeing hit by a gel round shoud not be as deadly as beeing hit by regular ammunition.
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Irion
post Feb 26 2011, 07:17 PM
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@Tymeaus Jalynsfein
So yes I start with a full stun track.
As far as I know gel amunition gets +2 DV and +2 Armor. So it causes more damage on avarage.

But even if this was changed beeing hit by a gel round shoud not be as deadly as beeing hit by regular ammunition.
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Summerstorm
post Feb 26 2011, 08:44 PM
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Hm.. as far as i know gel-rounds are -1DV +2AP (and reduce body by two for knockdown-related comparison)

Ah well. Houserules:

Mine are:

You can limit your nethits in whatever activity for a -2 modifier when rolling. Useful in melee for damage, or with magic for drain-control, but i allow it everywhere (for example for seeming not as competent)

Active foci can be disabled by astral combat and counterspelling, even when the attacker is purely astral. They can come back "online" after force minutes for themselves.

Watcher are summoned at half summoners magic and have a +2 dice bonus for using their power and perception.

Spirits can only manifest in vehicles if those are slower than the ghost could move in the physical world.

Also i allow for pretty much ALL optional rules. (really... most of them are really enhancing the game: Specialist magicians, Redlining, Stress and serious wounds, lowered healing rolls. martial arts and combat modifiers. etc.)
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Ol' Scratch
post Feb 26 2011, 09:37 PM
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I have a ton, but I'll only list a few.
  • Net Hits: Unless a specific situation deems otherwise, players can ignore hits on various tests. SR4's dice mechanic doesn't separate between accuracy and intended effect. This gets around it. (No, better control of your actions should not be a hindrance in most situations. Yes, it works fine if your intent is to kill someone when shooting your gun at them. No, it doesn't work fine if your intent is to knock someone out with a non-lethal attack.)
  • Dice Mechanics: The Rule of Six is always active. Glitches occur if you roll more 1s than your Skill level where applicable, rather than half your dice pool. The type of Glitch is dependent on just how many 1s were rolled; if it was just one or two over the limit, it'll be something humorous or mildly inconvenient. If its a buttload, it may be more serious, but you still succeed if, well, you succeed. I like Glitches, both as a player and GM. I hate how they almost never show up in most situations because of the stupid size of dice pools in the game. This fixes that.
  • Character Creation: "Ignore build points and just assign the appropriate ranks to the various skills and attributes your character should have. We'll look over it when you're done and see if any adjusting needs to be done to make them more suitable to the group and campaign as a whole. Use the various tables in the main sourcebook as a guide for choosing these ranks." This one produces much more believable characters. Unless you play with immature munchkins, this method not only works perfectly fine, but actually avoids one's natural urge to min/max when given artificial limitations. You don't have to do cheesy shit just to make your character viable, afterall.
  • Initiative Passes: Don't exist. Gone completely. Augmentations, technical or magical in nature, simply boost your Initiative normally, and any that grant Initiative Passes instead grant bonus dice on defense tests like Dodging, Parrying, or Surprise Tests. Costs are greatly reduced as a result. New rolls are made each turn. The number of hits determine who goes first. Ties are solved by Reaction scores. (So yes, they actually improve your reaction time without letting you fire your pistol at some ridiculous speed compared to everyone else, and players and NPCs alike aren't obligated to have similar technology just to have a chance to survive combat. Mundane characters are very viable.)
  • Foci and "Magic Items": These do not have binding costs, but instead 'sap' their owner's Essence (or Magic if they have it and prefer to tap into that isntead) in much the same way cyberware does. For Weapon Foci its a 1:1 ratio. For more rare or specialized ones, like Summoning or Counterspelling Foci, the ratio is less hindered. These foci do not allow mundanes to use skills they don't normally have access to, including Astral Combat and Counterspelling, nor do they grant a Magic attribute to them, but they will aid them as per the standard rules were applicable. Thus a mundane can use a Weapon Focus to hurt a materialized spirit. When a focus is deactivated, the Essence or Magic points are returned. I used to use the old Blood Magic system (where you temporarily lost boxes of Physical Damage for the duration of their activity, but that was too much.) Essence lowered in this way does not lower Magic, and dropping to Essence 0 because of a foci simply causes you to suffer (Force) boxes of Stun damage every combat turn until you deactivate or drop it.
  • Watcher Spirits: These aren't limited to Force 1, but they have no combat capabilities whatsoever beyond whizzing around and acting as a minor distraction. (Hey, what's that, a simple solution for making them more useful? Unpossible.) However, instead of having a limit on how many Watcher Spirits a magician can have active at one time, it's instead limited by the total Force. So you can have one really powerful one active, or a lot of little ones.
  • Hacking: Simplified to Attribute+Skill tests with utilities providing a +2 dice pool bonus in their related tests. Costs of utilities are greatly reduced, and opposition is handled in similar fashions based on the type of system being used. Technomancers are just magicians who tap into the Matrix rather than the Astral and share most of the same mechanics, including Drain. To this day I have no fucking idea what they were thinking with this crap in SR4, especially considering the overall philosophy of the edition. "Hey, I know. Let's ignore all the work we did into making combat, magic, and everything else work under the same basic principles and instead make the Matrix some alien game system with no recognizable connection to anything else in existence!" "Whoa, that's a great idea. Let's run with it."
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Muspellsheimr
post Feb 26 2011, 10:54 PM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Feb 26 2011, 03:37 PM) *
Dice Mechanics: The Rule of Six is always active. Glitches occur if you roll more 1s than your Skill level where applicable, rather than half your dice pool. The type of Glitch is dependent on just how many 1s were rolled; if it was just one or two over the limit, it'll be something humorous or mildly inconvenient. If its a buttload, it may be more serious, but you still succeed if, well, you succeed. I like Glitches, both as a player and GM. I hate how they almost never show up in most situations because of the stupid size of dice pools in the game. This fixes that.

I like the concept behind the glitch modifier, but it really falls apart extremes. The Rules as Written one only really has problems at the 1-2 dice pool range.

Agility 1, Skill 6, -2 modifiers: 5 Dice Pool, 6 or more 1's glitch
Agility 9, Skill 6, +4 modifiers: 19 Dice Pool, 6 or more 1's glitch

Being better at a task should not increase the chances of fucking up.
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Ol' Scratch
post Feb 26 2011, 11:12 PM
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One of the problems with only listing some of the changes is that it's easy to miss some of the related things that keep it in balance. For instance, we use a lot of colored dice and the above rule only applies to the Attribute+Skill dice. The rest of the dice pool doesn't really come into play, and the micro-rant I went off with was in reference to the one-dice-pool-to-rule-them-all system in the default rules. I just didn't think it through when I typed it above.

That said, I get where you're coming from and noticed it before, too. But its never really been an issue and everyone seems to like how it works despite that. I've struggled with various different dice mechanics that I could use with minimal changes to the overall rules (most notably where Attributes are the randomizer and Skills are solid bonuses), but they fell apart even easier whether it was in a normal everyday situation or in the extremes.

One of the nice things about house rules is that the only people who have to be happy with it are the ones playing with them no matter how weird they are. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Laodicea
post Feb 26 2011, 11:36 PM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Feb 26 2011, 03:37 PM) *
[*] Hacking: Simplified to Attribute+Skill tests with utilities providing a +2 dice pool bonus in their related tests. Costs of utilities are greatly reduced, and opposition is handled in similar fashions based on the type of system being used. Technomancers are just magicians who tap into the Matrix rather than the Astral and share most of the same mechanics, including Drain. To this day I have no fucking idea what they were thinking with this crap in SR4, especially considering the overall philosophy of the edition. "Hey, I know. Let's ignore all the work we did into making combat, magic, and everything else work under the same basic principles and instead make the Matrix some alien game system with no recognizable connection to anything else in existence!" "Whoa, that's a great idea. Let's run with it."
[/list]



I really like this idea. It's pretty solid and simplifies things a lot for me. Sprites are just Spirits and utilities are just spells, then? Threading is just overcasting? I guess this means a technomancer in your game needs much fewer skills, but still has to buy that resonance attribute.
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Method
post Feb 27 2011, 01:59 AM
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I use CHR x 5 "free BP" for contacts, because I like contact/legwork driven games. But I also handle contacts a little differently: a contact's Connection rating is based on their backstory and costs nothing; the PC pays BP = Connection for each point of Loyalty. So if you really want to have the local Oyabun for your uncle or a Lonestar chief as your long-lost best friend, it will cost you.

A lot of the other "houserules" I use are more about flavor. Some examples:
-- Stick and shock is only available for shotguns and doesn't affect spirits
-- AV ammo only comes in calibers larger than light machine gun
-- Anyone who brings an emotitoy to the negotiating table is summarily shot in the face with no save

You know, stuff like that...
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Jhaiisiin
post Feb 27 2011, 02:39 AM
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QUOTE (Method @ Feb 26 2011, 06:59 PM) *
-- Anyone who brings an emotitoy to the negotiating table is summarily shot in the face with no save

Best houserule. Ever.
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jaellot
post Feb 27 2011, 03:29 AM
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I flipped the wound penalties around, so that they start as soon as you take even a single block. I also capped the Physical at the -3, since otherwise it seems to penalize your Body bonus metas for being able to take more damage.

Of course, it would help immensely if I actually knew the rules, and didn't run some bastardized amalgam of all the 3rd Ed. rules still burned into my brain using the jist of 4th Ed. (Like spirits no longer having domains. Who knew?)
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Bodak
post Feb 27 2011, 04:07 AM
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QUOTE (Summerstorm @ Feb 27 2011, 06:44 AM) *
Spirits can only manifest in vehicles if those are slower than the ghost could move in the physical world.
What is the benefit of this? The normal rule is:
QUOTE (SR4a p188)
Summoned spirits appear on the astral plane and manifest so that they are visible in the physical world as a ghostly image.
What happens when a magician in an aeroplane or bullet train summons a spirit using your house rules? It simply arrives in the astral and refuses to psychically manifest to its summoner? What does that accomplish?

What happens (under your house rules) if a spirit is psychically manifesting to a character (say a Watcher delivering a message to someone in a stationary autotaxi) and the vehicle begins to move faster than the spirit "could move in the physical world"? Does the spirit stop manifesting automatically, in the middle of the conversation? Does the spirit pass through the back of the vehicle and continue manifesting from there at its top speed?
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James McMurray
post Feb 27 2011, 04:51 AM
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Wound Penalties: These don't apply to initiative until your next round. This is mostly to avoid having to rearrange the order every other time someone pulls a trigger.

Direct Combat Spells: We use the net hits increase drain optional rule. It's on probation but seems to be ok so far.

Strength for recoil: We use recoil compensation for high strength.

Stunting: Stolen from Exalted and Scion. Adding description to your actions gives you 1, 2, or (rarely) 3 extra dice. It also gives the players limited narrative control over their environment.
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Ol' Scratch
post Feb 27 2011, 07:08 AM
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Oh, another one we use is similar to the defaulting rules from previous editions. If you can argue how another skill can be used to perform a task or the skills are simply related, and it's not a stupid idea, you can use a different skill with a -2 penalty to its rating in its stead. So you can use your Medicine 4 skill to perform First Aid as if you had it at a rating of 2. If you have no related skill at all, you can still use your raw Attribute but with a -3 penalty instead of the normal -2.

Also when defaulting, your maximum number of hits is equal to your effective skill rating or 2, whichever is higher. If a threshold requires more hits than you can possibly achieve, you cannot perform that action.
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Irion
post Feb 27 2011, 08:42 AM
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@Bodak
I think he meant materialize. (I hope I did not pick the wrong word, too)
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braincraft
post Feb 27 2011, 02:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ol' Scratch @ Feb 27 2011, 07:08 AM) *
Oh, another one we use is similar to the defaulting rules from previous editions. If you can argue how another skill can be used to perform a task or the skills are simply related, and it's not a stupid idea, you can use a different skill with a -2 penalty to its rating in its stead. So you can use your Medicine 4 skill to perform First Aid as if you had it at a rating of 2. If you have no related skill at all, you can still use your raw Attribute but with a -3 penalty instead of the normal -2.

I don't know if that's the best of all possible ideas. Sure, at low levels, you're only getting one or two bonus skill levels from defaults; if you plan on abusing defaults, you could easily get ridiculous numbers of effective free skill levels.
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phlapjack77
post Feb 27 2011, 04:02 PM
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QUOTE (braincraft @ Feb 27 2011, 10:37 PM) *
I don't know if that's the best of all possible ideas. Sure, at low levels, you're only getting one or two bonus skill levels from defaults; if you plan on abusing defaults, you could easily get ridiculous numbers of effective free skill levels.

I like Ol' Scratch's idea, sounds similar to the skill web of years gone by. Not that that didn't have problems, but...

Ideas like this about defaulting just make sense. Why can you have a 5 Automatics skill, but don't know how to shoot a longarm rifle? A spec in heavy pistols, but no skill shooting a machine pistol?

This isn't my house rule, and I don't remember who to attribute it to, but it went something like:
Shooting a pistol / smg in SA - pistols skill
Shooting any kind of rifle / shotgun in SA - longarms
Shooting anything in BF / FA - automatics skill

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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Feb 27 2011, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (Bodak @ Feb 26 2011, 09:07 PM) *
What is the benefit of this? The normal rule is:
What happens when a magician in an aeroplane or bullet train summons a spirit using your house rules? It simply arrives in the astral and refuses to psychically manifest to its summoner? What does that accomplish?

What happens (under your house rules) if a spirit is psychically manifesting to a character (say a Watcher delivering a message to someone in a stationary autotaxi) and the vehicle begins to move faster than the spirit "could move in the physical world"? Does the spirit stop manifesting automatically, in the middle of the conversation? Does the spirit pass through the back of the vehicle and continue manifesting from there at its top speed?


Actually, Bodak, Summerstorm is talking about Materialization...

OOOps... Missed Irion's Post...
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Vegetaman
post Feb 27 2011, 06:27 PM
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When I am GM, I tend to fudge the margins for "cinematic effect", even though it may be a bit out of scope of a turn limit or how something would actually go down with the in game mechanics... But, those cases are very sparingly and done for effect where neither side really gets screwed over.
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Ol' Scratch
post Feb 27 2011, 06:32 PM
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QUOTE (braincraft @ Feb 27 2011, 08:37 AM) *
I don't know if that's the best of all possible ideas. Sure, at low levels, you're only getting one or two bonus skill levels from defaults; if you plan on abusing defaults, you could easily get ridiculous numbers of effective free skill levels.

It only seems that way in comparison to the default rules, which are incredibly insane. As Jack points out, there's really no sensible reason why someone who can fire an Assault Rifle with a high level of skill (let's say Skill 6) shouldn't at least be fairly competent when tossed a Sporting Rifle. But by the default rules if he's forced to use one and doesn't have the Longarms skill, he's effectively at -8 dice. Give him a Machine Pistol, which I imagine is far more alien than using another type of rifle, and he shoots it just fine... at least until he discovers that the BF/FA weapon in his hand is actually just a Light Pistol that has had a FA conversion, making it a Pistol... and now he's at -8 again.

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braincraft
post Feb 27 2011, 07:43 PM
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It also almost entirely sabotages the point of skill groups, since you're always better off buying 6 in one skill than 4 in the group.
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