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> The PIZZA Rule, Homebrew
Adhoc
post Aug 16 2019, 11:00 AM
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THE PIZZA RULE (HOMEBREW):

The player playing the decker must buy pizzas IRL for the whole group if he goes into the Matrix.

The player playing the mage must buy pizzas IRL for the whole group if he goes into the Astral/Metaplanes.

The rest of the group can then pick up the pizzas while the GM & the decker/mage resolves the solo-part.

Everybody wins!!!
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Kren Cooper
post Aug 16 2019, 12:11 PM
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When we used to order takeout on friday night game, whoever put the pizza/chinese order in got a +1 karma pool reroll for the hassle.
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Stahlseele
post Aug 16 2019, 07:54 PM
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Karma . . bribing the GM with his favourite snacks, food and drink . . eh, what's the difference anyway? <.<
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SleepIncarnate
post Aug 19 2019, 08:38 AM
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What about when combat is running long because most folks only have 1 or 2 IPs, but the street sam and phys ad are both running 4 IPs per round? You gonna make them the food providers for the combat heavy sessions?
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KCKitsune
post Aug 19 2019, 02:29 PM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Aug 19 2019, 04:38 AM) *
What about when combat is running long because most folks only have 1 or 2 IPs, but the street sam and phys ad are both running 4 IPs per round? You gonna make them the food providers for the combat heavy sessions?


Why? In combat everybody can do something. Might not be as much as the sammy or the cheaty fraks (Phys ad), but they can do something.
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SleepIncarnate
post Aug 19 2019, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Aug 19 2019, 10:29 AM) *
Why? In combat everybody can do something. Might not be as much as the sammy or the cheaty fraks (Phys ad), but they can do something.


GM: "What do you all do?"
Sammy: "I'm going to attack him, him, and him. And if they all die to one attack, I'll also attack him."
PhysAd: "I'm going to get those four over there the Sammy missed."
Mage: "I'm going to summon a spirit to protect me."
TM: "I'm going to duck and cover for the duration of combat."
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Stahlseele
post Aug 19 2019, 06:54 PM
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Why does the TM not have some armor and a gun?
A Smartlink App?
Or a drone with a gun?
Why is the mage such an egoistical asshole and instead of trying to help the sam and ad he just thinks about his own protection?
WHY THE FUCK ARE PEOPLE STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT COMBAT MONKEY CHARACTERS ACTUALLY GETTING TO DO WHAT THEY ARE GOOD AT FOR ONCE WHEN MOST OF THE TIME THE GOAL IS TO NOT HAVE COMBAT HAPPEN?
Now pay attention and try to memorize this next line very well!
Combat-Monkey-Characters are there for the times when your slick mages, matrix guys and faces fuck up. If they are not there, you botch one roll or roleplay wrong or bad and it is all over as soon as corp sec goes:"right, on your knees, hands behind your head!"
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KCKitsune
post Aug 20 2019, 03:46 AM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 19 2019, 01:54 PM) *
WHY THE FUCK ARE PEOPLE STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT COMBAT MONKEY CHARACTERS ACTUALLY GETTING TO DO WHAT THEY ARE GOOD AT FOR ONCE WHEN MOST OF THE TIME THE GOAL IS TO NOT HAVE COMBAT HAPPEN?
Now pay attention and try to memorize this next line very well!
Combat-Monkey-Characters are there for the times when your slick mages, matrix guys and faces fuck up. If they are not there, you botch one roll or roleplay wrong or bad and it is all over as soon as corp sec goes:"right, on your knees, hands behind your head!"

EXACTLY!
QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 19 2019, 01:54 PM) *
Why does the TM not have some armor and a gun?
A Smartlink App?
Or a drone with a gun?
Why is the mage such an egoistical asshole and instead of trying to help the sam and ad he just thinks about his own protection?


Hell, a mage with a gun can be damn useful as well. My way of thinking about it is this: Use magic... IF YOU MUST... because the second you bring out the mojo is the second the Corp Sec takes off the kid gloves. To Corp Sec, mages are an EXPENSIVE and limited resource. Also if you use magic, and DON'T clean up after yourself, you're leaving ALL sorts of breadcrumbs for the Corps to backtrack you. They'll follow that trail... and brutally murder you in your sleep.

I designed my Combat medic mage in that light. Enough cyber (and Bio) that unless he was Assensed, then they would think he's just another hacker. I would save the mojo for healing and as a last "OH DREK!!!" trump card.
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Kyoto Kid
post Aug 20 2019, 05:18 AM
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...this is why I like jack of all trades characters. they have just enough of everything (save maybe spell slinging or straight on decking) to be useful in several types of situations.

My missions character Leela is a demolitions and sabotage expert who can handle herself well in a fight (firearms or melee), is good at sneaking around and infiltrating, can pilot a boat or any ground vehicle (as wellas ride a horse), is good at breaking an entering, can assist in negotiations, is decent at a con, good at playing an act (her favourite is an innocent young girl which has worked on several occasions), and can patch you up if you caught some bullets. She's also multi lingual as well as quite a fountain of knowledge, on subjects ranging from Architecture to Small Unit Tactics.

Skillwires? Bah, who needs skillwires? Besides, those can be hacked particularly if you use the wireless skill networks (or disabled by some of the new countermeasures in Kill Code).

Though even my Decker Violet can sneak around, knows how to use both pitola and automatics pretty effectively, and can patch you up as well (crikey, a couple points in First Aid when you have a high Logic can go a long way for the team, particularly when you have a medkit built in your cyberarm).

The only quality I wish they introduced would have been "Too Smart to be Hit" Crikey, if a Face can use his/her "good looks" to avoid being shot, why can't someone use his/her smarts as well? Makes more sense. I may add that to my home campaign.
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KCKitsune
post Aug 20 2019, 06:27 AM
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QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Aug 20 2019, 12:18 AM) *
(crikey, a couple points in First Aid when you have a high Logic can go a long way for the team, particularly when you have a medkit built in your cyberarm).


If your GM allows it then you can (SR4) use the neocortial nanites in a non-combat situation and get yourself some extra dice in that first aid skill check.


*** EDIT ***
QUOTE (Kyoto Kid @ Aug 20 2019, 12:18 AM) *
...this is why I like jack of all trades characters. they have just enough of everything (save maybe spell slinging or straight on decking) to be useful in several types of situations.

As long as you don't want to have a mage who starts off with GODLY POWER!!!™ then you can still do quite a number of different things.
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SleepIncarnate
post Aug 20 2019, 08:19 AM
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QUOTE (Stahlseele @ Aug 19 2019, 01:54 PM) *
WHY THE FUCK ARE PEOPLE STILL COMPLAINING ABOUT MATRIX CHARACTERS ACTUALLY GETTING TO DO WHAT THEY ARE GOOD AT FOR ONCE WHEN MOST OF THE TIME THE GOAL IS TO ACTUALLY BE DOING STUFF IN THE REAL WORLD?


Fixed it. The same could be said for mages and astral stuff. This entire rule is based on complaining about the matrix or magical characters actually getting to do what they were built to do. Do you know how many groups I've joined who have straight up said "don't play a decker, because then the entire table has to wait on you for an hour or whatever while you do matrix stuff" without thinking about what my character has to contribute to the other 2+ hours per session that they all get to shine?

Every kind of specialist character has their time to shine, but sadly, I see the matrix crew dinged the hardest for their time, because at least folks like mages for more than just astral stuff. It's a big part of why SR4 went wireless, to try and get the deckers along with the rest of the team more often.
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Sendaz
post Aug 20 2019, 08:53 AM
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Plus most GMs really underuse the Astral, using it as little more than a special way to scout out places and maybe an occasional spirit scuffle and not treating it like it's own ecosystem.
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KCKitsune
post Aug 20 2019, 12:24 PM
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QUOTE (SleepIncarnate @ Aug 20 2019, 03:19 AM) *
Every kind of specialist character has their time to shine, but sadly, I see the matrix crew dinged the hardest for their time, because at least folks like mages for more than just astral stuff. It's a big part of why SR4 went wireless, to try and get the deckers along with the rest of the team more often.


That was something that I thought was lost with SR5. With commlinks and cheap software, they could have had EVERY player being in the Matrix... even the mages.

Honestly if I were running a Shadowrun game, I would use SR4a rules, and SR5 costs for pos/neg qualities (and would ban the "Gremlins" flaw). One thing I would ask my players to do would be for the non-deckers I would ask that they purchase Agents (I would prevent Agent Smith Bot armies by limiting it to one Agent per persona) and equip that Agent with hacking programs.

This would allow me to run a whole Matrix adventure with the non-hacker players being their agents... With Virtual Person common software and fuzzy logic they can be a "different" character (with a personality) while in the Matrix. The Hacker would, of course, have all the goodies to help him shine as compared to Agent "mooks". This would also give something for the sammies / mages to spend their money on other than "Must buy BIGGER GUN/FOCI!!!" Finally it would also give them some greater commlink security as they would know when it was time to upgrade their 'links.
------------------
Now I can hear everyone ask, "Kitsune, what about Astral quests?"
Simple, Astral quests would either have the spirits of the players catching a ride with the mage, or NPC spirits that the remaining player would have for that particular Astral Quest. I would MOST CERTAINLY clear this with the players first as I would NOT want to torque them off.
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riff.freelance
post Aug 27 2019, 07:32 PM
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I gotta jump in on the whole "Let the decker fraggin' deck already" side here too. My favorite bits and bobs have always been the Matrix, and half the time, even knowing the rules inside and out, it's hand waved and relegated to a few checks in early editions. 4th tried real hard but went a bit too far one way and 5th has its charms but also had their moments where Decking could take away from the team.

I love the concept of Deckers, but yeah we need to figure out how to balance what they do in an actual Run. They have a great bit to do during the legwork, but what on the actual run? What makes your Decker a Runner not a contact? We'll get it figured out, but a Pizza penalty isn't the answer.
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KCKitsune
post Aug 28 2019, 02:00 AM
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QUOTE (riff.freelance @ Aug 27 2019, 03:32 PM) *
I love the concept of Deckers, but yeah we need to figure out how to balance what they do in an actual Run. They have a great bit to do during the legwork, but what on the actual run? What makes your Decker a Runner not a contact? We'll get it figured out, but a Pizza penalty isn't the answer.


Honestly, a Hacker / Decker should be a B&E expert as well. I mean think about it: They know electronics and how corps operate. They can get the bioware &/or cyberware needed to exceed with the physical skills. If they need it, they can get skillwires and skillsofts to cover any gaps in their physical skills.
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Blade
post Aug 28 2019, 08:57 AM
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To me there are three main things the ha/decker can do in a run:

- Intel gathering : searching for things on the Matrix. Arguably all characters can do this but the ha/decker can dig a little deeper with some light hacking. This can be solved with a single roll, just like when the Face does social legwork.

- On the fly hacking : Opening doors, bypassing cameras and security devices but also assisting the team with many kind of hacks: slowing down security by deploying the cleaning robots, toying with the lights. Internal networks that are disconnected or hard to access from the global Matrix can force the hacker to be physically there. Matrix-presence could be supported but should be handled similarly to astrally projected mages: the persona is present and can be affected by any entity that's active in the Matrix. All in all it shouldn't be different (even from a mechanical point of view) from the way the mage assist the team.

- Complex Matrix runs : If you want to spend a non-negligible part of your gaming session to a Matrix run, you'll want all players to be able to join. For this I like the concept that the point of the Matrix is to make navigating the data world as intuitive as navigating the physical world. So the fighters' fighting skills are still relevant in the Matrix and so are the infiltrator's infiltration skills. This could lead to Matrix runs where every character can help, with the ha/decker having powers to "bend" the rules of the node thanks to his skills and equipment. The ha/decker still has the spotlight, but the others can do more than just eat pizza and play video games while waiting for the scene to end.
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SleepIncarnate
post Aug 28 2019, 12:23 PM
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Another point that Blade didn't mention is support. Not just Matrix support, but overall.

A decker is the one most likely to have the best deck/link, with the best OS. They should slave the rest of the team's links (and by extension, cyberware, smartlink weapons, etc.) to their gear to protect the team from opposing hackers/spiders. Additionally, they're the most likely to have some kind of tacsoft, an thus highlighting locations of enemies, security, etc., in the AR feeds of their teammates. That's what they're doing during combat, or possibly trying to hack on the fly the enemies gear/ware/etc.

They make their teammates better just by being there with tacsoft, can try to weaken enemies, etc.

Think of an MMO example. A class built entirely on support through crowd control, buffing, debuffing, etc., is a huge boon to a party. Unfortunately, because they lack heavily in overt damage or healing, they're often unpopular in parties by those who only look at DPS. Enchanters from EverQuest were the ideal example of this. They reached the point that they struggled to find groups to level up. Deckers are the Shadowrun equivalent, because so many players fail to see what they actually provide to the group. So yes, the first round of combat, the decker/TM is diving for cover, waits half an hour for the second round to come around, then does their thing. Even against gangers with no chrome or smartlinks, the decker has more things they can do than just "take a single pot shot at that guy the sammy is gonna kill anyways."
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Arkeus
post Sep 9 2019, 09:01 PM
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What I generally do for my 3rd edition campaign is to have most if not all decking done on the mission. I generally try to have some of the legwork done by the Johnson, regarding blueprints or security schedules or what not. Not to say this doesn't completely eliminate the decking portion of legwork, but I do things sort of in an initiative style, where the decker takes a few actions or "turns", then I move to the other players and see what they're up to.

In the actual run, same thing, the decker basically gets two or so give or take turns to do things while the other players are figuring out what to do, keeping an eye on things, watching or listening out for guards.

It helps a lot to have some of the physical decking skills like Electronics across some of the other characters so the decker can monitor on camera or something, while the other guys open maglocks that aren't controlled by the node he's in.

Basically, I just try really hard to keep everyone involved, and it flows a little bit like the Returns or Dragonfall games (I did not like hacking in Hong Kong).
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SleepIncarnate
post Sep 9 2019, 09:18 PM
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Hong Kong's matrix changes were disappointing. It was less about character skill and more about your ability to just watch and judge timing and patterns to avoid being seen. Even less like actual SR decking.
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