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> Edition Discussion, Be Specific. Be Constructive.
Redjack
post Dec 29 2014, 02:42 PM
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I am getting increasingly frustrated with the open attacks in offhanded posts that amount to nothing more than edition wars. This thread is for a discussion about specifics. I'm tired of hearing "the writers suck". If there is something you don't like, discuss it and how it could have been done to your liking. If you simply like nothing about an edition and cannot discuss how it could be written in a way you like, then you have nothing to say.

Frankly, I'm also tired of snarky replies with no other purpose than to drop an offhanded insult at the current development team when I try to have a conversation. Example: I write how I dislike something in SR5, contrast it to how it was in SR4 and get a reply that SR5 is the waffle edition and you simply need syrup.
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binarywraith
post Dec 29 2014, 03:07 PM
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All I want for Christmas is proper proofreading and editing.

When you hear 'the writers suck', it's flat out that. Failures of basic proofreading and editing, failures of layout, failures of organization of ideas... the basics of the written word. Everything published for SR5 as a sourcebook so far has suffered from all of the above, and in incredibly uneven ways that indicate that it isn't a single-writer problem but also those higher up in the production process that are failing.
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Redjack
post Dec 29 2014, 03:21 PM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 29 2014, 09:07 AM) *
Failures of basic proofreading and editing, failures of layout, failures of organization of ideas...
This is a start and it is far more constructive than "they suck". It, at least, gives us a starting point for a conversation.
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Medicineman
post Dec 29 2014, 03:31 PM
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I would like to get Rules that are explainable ingame !
no more:
Just because you're a Surgeling you get 1 Level Distinctive Style even if you have NO physical difference at all (SR4A)
also Just because You're an Oni in Japan You get the same
and no more:
Just because You missed a Payment from the In debt neg qual You get 1 point unresitible & uncurable damage until you make the Payment (SR5)

Hough
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Sendaz
post Dec 29 2014, 03:38 PM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 10:31 AM) *
Just because You missed a Payment from the In debt neg qual You get 1 point unresitible & uncurable damage until you make the Payment (SR5)

Hough
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To be fair, I always took that to mean Vinnie leaned on you for being late in paying, broke your arm which would take longer to heal and he has been dropping round periodically to see if you are ready to make good and rebreaks something if you don't (IMG:style_emoticons/default/nyahnyah.gif)

But yeah, fixing some of these would be helpful.
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Bertramn
post Dec 29 2014, 03:48 PM
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I want dirt, wounds, tattoos and ugly people in the artwork,
also more screaming and faces distorted in extreme emotions.
Otherwise I love the 5th Edition Artwork, as far as colour artwork goes.
Though I prefer the Judge-Dredd-Style artwork third edition had.
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Medicineman
post Dec 29 2014, 03:54 PM
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For me it would be totally OK If a GM would play out this Scenario with me/My Char
Vinnie & his friends could come Over for " a talk" even if this would end up with my char in a Hospital and far more than just 1 Point of Damage. but the way this is written there is no Interaction no explanation just a Point of Damage.
(Hell If it would be from Vinnie & his Friends it could be cured with a Spell or medkit but this 1 Point uncurable Damage sounds like a new kind of Curse
What ails me is that this Point of damage is ...beyond the Rules because its uncurable !
and that its not played out ingame its just thrown onto You/your Char
Luckily there are only a few of these examples but they're (ImO) so wrong on so many Levels
( Sorry ,I can't properly explain what I mean in English (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sarcastic.gif) )
....
The same with the distinctive Style. it's a ...kind of Curse the Char gets " just because"
and this "just because" is what so totally wrong


HougH!
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sk8bcn
post Dec 29 2014, 04:09 PM
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Ok I start:

I own 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th edition but I haven't yet read 4th or 5th (and it won't happen before quite some time since I plan to do so after having read my 3rd edition collection).

Yet I have some knowledge about 4th and 5th so I'll do some comments:

> 3rd is, in all honety, an average ruleset at best.
The main grief against that ruleset is:
a- Variable TN and roll system induce strong inconsistencies in probabilities.
b- Matrix system too complicated and not consistent with fluff (how Matrix works in novels and so)
c- Vehicle rules, erm...
d- I never liked the variable room for development (truckloads karma sink for mages, not much for samourais...)

Good points were:
a- Depth of the game
b- Dice Pools added strategy


Now 4th:
- United Magic doesn't appeal me
- More consistent stats-wise but
- Truck loads of dices
- Stats >> Skill
- Base dice system actually suck (1 die = 0,33 succes in average, which means that a skill 6 guy does 1 success more in average vs a skill 3 guy, which is inconsistent with the description of a skill)

5th:
- Limits seems a nice concept. It seems though that it's badly implemented.
- Wireless boni and bricking doesn't sound realistic at all.


What I'd wish:
> Something new, something deeply different that goes beyond 4th/5th and mix in 3rd.

I'd go for something alike:
Roll skill. TN depending on stat but TN not variable. Number of success requiered variable depending on difficulty. And in either bonus pools or re-roll pools. Reshape stats.
Attributes would have a range of 1-12. Skills would be uncapped with an average skill beeing 6 (3 mediocre, 9 stong, 12, exceptionnal...)


Exemple: Roll [skill].
Stat:
1-2: 6
3-4: 5+
5-6: 4+
7-8: 4+ (reroll 6's)
9-10: 3+ (reroll 6's)
11-12: 2+(reroll 6's)

Pair value of a stat grants you a re-roll of failures per session.

1 succes needed for an easy task, 2 for medium diff, 3 for a hard task...)

Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.
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Bertramn
post Dec 29 2014, 04:48 PM
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Sounds awesome.

I dont get it.

Attributes are added together and are then stats or what?
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Shemhazai
post Dec 29 2014, 05:11 PM
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I like every edition. I want to see them do more and for more people to play. Repeated posts that endlessly complain about the same thing or attack certain people are a time waster for me.

As far as 5th edition goes, I don't like Limits. I'm not so fond of wireless bonuses or the way that alchemy has been implemented. Other things I don't like aren't specific to 5th edition. I would be in favor of a reboot and redesign, but I fear that has the potential to ruin the game if it's not done very carefully.
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binarywraith
post Dec 29 2014, 05:12 PM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 09:54 AM) *
For me it would be totally OK If a GM would play out this Scenario with me/My Char
Vinnie & his friends could come Over for " a talk" even if this would end up with my char in a Hospital and far more than just 1 Point of Damage. but the way this is written there is no Interaction no explanation just a Point of Damage.
(Hell If it would be from Vinnie & his Friends it could be cured with a Spell or medkit but this 1 Point uncurable Damage sounds like a new kind of Curse
What ails me is that this Point of damage is ...beyond the Rules because its uncurable !
and that its not played out ingame its just thrown onto You/your Char
Luckily there are only a few of these examples but they're (ImO) so wrong on so many Levels
( Sorry ,I can't properly explain what I mean in English (IMG:style_emoticons/default/sarcastic.gif) )
....
The same with the distinctive Style. it's a ...kind of Curse the Char gets " just because"
and this "just because" is what so totally wrong


HougH!
Medicineman


I believe the point of the incurable irresistable damage is to prevent powergamers from simply setting up to ambush the hired goons when they come around to talk payment plans that start with medical bills, and just shooting their way into free karma.
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Medicineman
post Dec 29 2014, 07:01 PM
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of course its to keep the Player in line , thats not the Point (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
I can fully understand the Meta-reason for this .... kind of Rule, I just don't like the Implementation.
If there should be a Problem with Powergamers it should be adressed to outgame not ingame
The GM should adress the Player and urge him to keep to the Spirit of the Disadvantage not enforce an unexplainiable Ingame Handicap to keep him in Line.
Much of the Content of the BBB (and other Corebooks too) is how to handle different Situations, why not here too, why
didn't they write some advise on how to handle a Powergamer ?

JahtaHow
Medicineman



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Sendaz
post Dec 29 2014, 07:23 PM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 29 2014, 12:12 PM) *
I believe the point of the incurable irresistable damage is to prevent powergamers from simply setting up to ambush the hired goons when they come around to talk payment plans that start with medical bills, and just shooting their way into free karma.

true, but at that point wouldn't the GM then just change it from In Debt to a suitably priced Enemy/Hunted as Vinnie's people now have to make an example out of you or nobody will be paying them back?
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Critias
post Dec 29 2014, 07:47 PM
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QUOTE (Sendaz @ Dec 29 2014, 01:23 PM) *
true, but at that point wouldn't the GM then just change it from In Debt to a suitably priced Enemy/Hunted as Vinnie's people now have to make an example out of you or nobody will be paying them back?

One would think something like that might happen, yeah, but given the internet slap-fights that have swirled around In Debt for years, it's apparently not so clear cut to lots of people.
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Sendaz
post Dec 29 2014, 08:10 PM
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QUOTE (Medicineman @ Dec 29 2014, 02:01 PM) *
The GM should adress the Player and urge him to keep to the Spirit of the Disadvantage not enforce an unexplainiable Ingame Handicap to keep him in Line.
Indeed, communication between players and GM is key here as everyone has to participate. If they are abusing it, the GM can and should call them on it, explain what is the problem and discuss what can work.

QUOTE
Much of the Content of the BBB (and other Corebooks too) is how to handle different Situations, why not here too, why
didn't they write some advise on how to handle a Powergamer ?

JahtaHow
Medicineman
That's a good idea and maybe one should start a thread asking exactly that so folk can contribute their examples and ideas to help other GMs navigate that balance point.
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flowswithdrek
post Dec 29 2014, 08:32 PM
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I hear a lot about bad writing in 4th & 5th editions, but I don't remember reading anything that I would have said was overly bad, though I haven't read all the 4th edition or 5th edition stuff yet. I'm genuinely curious (Iím also a writer), so any examples as to what people consider truly bad writing? Are we talking rules not explained as clearly as they could be? Is it bad spelling, grammar, or incorrect word usage, or just typos? Is it the ideas that suck rather than the actual writing, i.e. the creative direction?
The closest I can get to saying the writing is bad is the constant shifting from male to female when referring to the GM or Players. It hurts my brain. I really donít care which is used, but pick one or use neither. In the main 5th edition rules I'm sure I remember reading one sentence where the subject was referred to both male and female in the same sentence and it feels like someone has gone through the text and editing it just to create some kind of balance.
My main problem with both 4th and 5th is that I just can find all the info in one place. I like crunch, but I like it to be accessible and understandable.
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Spielmeister
post Dec 30 2014, 12:10 AM
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QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Dec 29 2014, 10:09 AM) *
What I'd wish:
> Something new, something deeply different that goes beyond 4th/5th and mix in 3rd.

I'd go for something alike:
Roll skill. TN depending on stat but TN not variable. Number of success requiered variable depending on difficulty. And in either bonus pools or re-roll pools. Reshape stats.
Attributes would have a range of 1-12. Skills would be uncapped with an average skill beeing 6 (3 mediocre, 9 stong, 12, exceptionnal...)


Exemple: Roll [skill].
Stat:
1-2: 6
3-4: 5+
5-6: 4+
7-8: 4+ (reroll 6's)
9-10: 3+ (reroll 6's)
11-12: 2+(reroll 6's)

Pair value of a stat grants you a re-roll of failures per session.

1 succes needed for an easy task, 2 for medium diff, 3 for a hard task...)

Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.


How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.
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Bertramn
post Dec 30 2014, 12:56 AM
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QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 01:10 AM) *
How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.


Can anyone explain to me what stats are exactly in that example?
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Spielmeister
post Dec 30 2014, 01:32 AM
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QUOTE (sk8bcn @ Dec 29 2014, 10:09 AM) *
Mr X has Physical (Old Body and Strength regrouped) of 7, granting him 3 re-rolls per session and a TN of 4+ plus rerolling failures. His Athletics skill is 4 (he's not that good).

he rolls 6,3,2,1, rerolls his 6 and rolls another 4. 2 success. Not enough for a hard task. He spends a reroll to throw again the 3,2 and 1.


In this example sk8bcn is using a new Attribute (Physical) compiled from Body and Strength, at least that was my inference.
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Smash
post Dec 30 2014, 01:46 AM
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I want the game to become more Dystopian. I think it used to be up until about 4th ed and then it just started mirroring reality to much. I found Dragonfall really refreshing how it makes the police out to be corrupt and lazy from the get-go and how the streets weren't patrolled by drones constantly scanning people's SINS.

If there's one thing I can't stand about shadowrun right now it's how you get stooged by not turning off that one camera you didn't detect. I want a system where cops still use books of crims faces to try and match people to crime scenes, irrespective of whether that happens now or how likely it is to happen in the future. A 6th edition needs to be the future of 1st edition, not the future of our current reality.

The game needs to re-invent the setting so that my pink mohawk, rocket launcher wielding biker can get in a scap in Tacoma and not have law enforcement using facial recognition bollocks to stooge you for doing something fun. This used to happen in Shadowrun, not anymore. Decking needs to be more submersive again without being a pizza ordering experience and cool stuff should happen there too just as it does in the astral. Maybe the matrix could just be a metaplane that's accessed with technology but also with magic? I really like that idea now that I've said it.

Less complexity is needed all round. Licences for the mot part should just be linked to SINS and/or lifestyles, unless it's military grade stuff or something.
Less modifiers for combat, less modifiers for the matrix, less actions for the matrix. Less would definitely be more for this setting.

Keep dice pools and keep limits or maybe tie skill max back to attributes (both have their problems but are better than having neither).
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Glyph
post Dec 30 2014, 02:51 AM
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SR5 has a lot of places that show what it could have been - things like how Edge is explained, how regeneration works, are much more clear. But the editing is bad - at the production level; I have heard more than one complaint about edits and fixes that would inexplicably not show up in the final product. There are sections where multiple writers seem to be working at cross-purposes, or where one writer penalizes something one way, than another writer comes in and penalizes it another way. There are cut-and-paste jobs where important bits are missing. One example is skills (there are no rules for any kind of augmented limits for skills, as there are for Attributes), the other example is the (hopefully unintentional) omission of regeneration from shapeshifter powers.

The overall philosophy of "everything has a price" is, as I have said before, a horrible, horrible philosophy to take when designing game options. It's like going "Hey, this option is cool! How can we make it less fun?" Game options should be balanced by limited resources and the accompanying opportunity costs. The sad thing is, SR5 doesn't need most of its nerfs. Looking solely at opportunity costs, it is pretty well-balanced. I have done the how-much-can-you-get-for-this builds; 12 Agility, 12 Reaction, 12 power points, 30 dice for melee combat. And you know what? Most of them, I look at them and go "Yeah, it's nice having that much in this area, and it's a playable character, but I would rather have a bit less of that and be able to have more of this other stuff."

As far as new mechanics go, I could live with the Priority system. It is less flexible than build points or karma by its very nature, but it is better than the simplified SR4 version, with higher values at each priority and some starting Karma to smooth out the rough edges. Likewise, limits are wonky in a few areas (spirit Force as a limit doesn't make sense to me - it is the higher Force spirits that should be doing less services), but don't mess up the game too much. Wireless "bonuses", though, are horribly implemented, breaking immersion in the game be being so illogical, and putting players in the annoying position of having to choose between losing some dice or being vulnerable to an attack from an undetectable vector that can potentially maim them. The other nerf that is the most problematic is background count, which, frankly, is much too common and goes up much too high. The ironic thing is that adepts are at probably their most powerful in this edition, but the mechanic of background count can suddenly turn them into mundanes.

I am no grognard; I was looking forward to SR5, and I really, really wanted to like it. But so far the books have had very poor editing, ham-handed over-corrections to anything accused of being an optimal choice in SR4, and some rules that are unclear or that have serious problems.
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binarywraith
post Dec 30 2014, 06:42 AM
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QUOTE (flowswithdrek @ Dec 29 2014, 02:32 PM) *
I hear a lot about bad writing in 4th & 5th editions, but I don't remember reading anything that I would have said was overly bad, though I haven't read all the 4th edition or 5th edition stuff yet. I'm genuinely curious (Iím also a writer), so any examples as to what people consider truly bad writing? Are we talking rules not explained as clearly as they could be? Is it bad spelling, grammar, or incorrect word usage, or just typos? Is it the ideas that suck rather than the actual writing, i.e. the creative direction?
The closest I can get to saying the writing is bad is the constant shifting from male to female when referring to the GM or Players. It hurts my brain. I really donít care which is used, but pick one or use neither. In the main 5th edition rules I'm sure I remember reading one sentence where the subject was referred to both male and female in the same sentence and it feels like someone has gone through the text and editing it just to create some kind of balance.
My main problem with both 4th and 5th is that I just can find all the info in one place. I like crunch, but I like it to be accessible and understandable.


You should check out War!. That's pretty much the current gold standard for 'Why would you publish this?', as far as bad writing and editorial decisions go.

In specific, we're talking about :

Basic spellchecker errors like homophones being swapped
Whole sections of the SR5 rulebook that were deprecated playtests (Trolls and Lifestyle costs) going to print not once but twice
Sample characters are not legal builds
Direct rules contradictions in different sections of the SR5 book. See 'bricking' for the most often argued one.
Catalyst going to print with both the $400 leather bound special editions and a second printing run of the SR5 core book with the known errors still uncorrected despite both months of public callouts
The very proofreaders who're credited on SR5 books pointing out that the final poofs they submitted were not the ones used to publish
The 'Arbeit Macht Frei' section of War! going to press. At all.
The writer responsible for the Wireless Bonuses section of the SR5 main book having been given completely different instruction as to the design goals than what was published
Adept powers printed in Street Grimoire with a prerequisite power that wasn't in print (Keratin Control) until the Shadow Spells e-book months later. Whoops!

Additionally, fun issues like art in the Gun Heavens books having been found to be minor Photoshops of article pictures from Wikipedia is a thing that's happened, as well.

Beyond that into actual game design, we have the whole issue of the wireless bonus rules being nonsensical. The writer who wrote the bonuses wrote them on the assumption that devices could still be networked directly internally, and as such major standard features of cyberware are tied to the wireless system. This means that those characters least likely to expose themselves to digital attack, bleeding-edge street samurai, are forced to do so in order to get their 'ware to work properly. Also in the WTF game design bucket is 5e Technomancers, who are essentially identical to mages, only with their Magic attribute reskinned as Resonance. Apparently technopathy and technoempathy are hindered if that technology happens to be attached to you. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)

Then there's the splatbooks, with fun things like the Infinite Karma Loop from Street Grimoire's Essence Drain rules that essentially voids the whole reason Aztechnology ever got involved with blood magic, and makes it clear that the only reason the Great Dragons don't have literally infinite statistics is because they choose not to. After all, lift one Karma (or Essence, or Magic) from every employee of Sader-Krupp and give it to Lofwyr as a Christmas bonus every year...
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Smash
post Dec 30 2014, 08:27 AM
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QUOTE (binarywraith @ Dec 30 2014, 05:42 PM) *
The writer who wrote the bonuses wrote them on the assumption that devices could still be networked directly internally, and as such major standard features of cyberware are tied to the wireless system. This means that those characters least likely to expose themselves to digital attack, bleeding-edge street samurai, are forced to do so in order to get their 'ware to work properly.


Is this something you actually know or is it just an assumption? If the former do you have a link to a blog post or something that talks about it?
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sk8bcn
post Dec 30 2014, 08:50 AM
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QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 01:10 AM) *
How would the number of rerolls per session be tied to Stat values? Its not clear here. I like the way this method keeps Stats and Skills paired but significantly reduces dice pool bloat, and keeps an incentive to spend karma on Stat improvement.


It would be like this, to be more precise:

Stat:
1: A succes is score on a 6
2: A succes is score on a 6 and you get 1 reroll per session linked to this stat
3: A succes is score on a 5+ and you get 1 reroll per session linked to this stat
4: A succes is score on a 5+ and you get 2 rerolls per session linked to this stat
5: A succes is score on a 4+ and you get 2 rerolls per session linked to this stat
6: A succes is score on a 4+ and you get 3 rerolls per session linked to this stat
7: A succes is score on a 4+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 3 rerolls per session linked to this stat
8: A succes is score on a 4+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 4 rerolls per session linked to this stat
9: A succes is score on a 3+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 4 rerolls per session linked to this stat
10: A succes is score on a 3+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 5 rerolls per session linked to this stat
11: A succes is score on a 2+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 5 rerolls per session linked to this stat
12: A succes is score on a 2+ (and you can roll again your 6s for mor successes) and you get 6 rerolls per session linked to this stat


About stats: I would go for a 6 attributes format:

Physical (your athletics), used as either body and strength and used somehow for your ability to soak.
Quickness, which would help for general initiative (which is important when damages affect your ability to hit through penalties)
Agility/Accurateness : Use to aim and shoot

And Willpower, used to soak stun and defend against mental magic
Charisma (self explained)
Intelligence: I never liked the 3rd ed idea that intelligence=Perception so I would remove "Alertness" to a skill in itself.
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sk8bcn
post Dec 30 2014, 08:51 AM
Post #25


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QUOTE (Spielmeister @ Dec 30 2014, 02:32 AM) *
In this example sk8bcn is using a new Attribute (Physical) compiled from Body and Strength, at least that was my inference.


Exactely!
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