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> SR 4.0 suggestions and requests, Because we don't have a debate...yet
BishopMcQ
post Mar 26 2005, 05:27 AM
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For my 2 :nuyen: I think a happy medium between the BP system offerred in SRC and the White Wolf system where you are given X number of attribute pts to distribute would be best. That way if someone wants to be more of a "Perfect Specimen" they can fill their attributes.

Though a separation of some of the higher end costs of Skills and Attributes would be nice. A marksman who is slower than molasses is very difficult to make under the current rules due to the prohibitive cost differential between Pistols 6 and Quickness 2.

What I'd really like to see is a fixed TN 4, with modifiers for situations changing the number of successes necessary rather than the TN itself. This will break down a lot of the complaints that a TN7 is the same as a TN 6 and the need for variant systems.

Example:
Wanna shoot a guard, TN 4 one success necessary. If he dodges, every success he gets makes your life harder just like now. It's dark, add 3 to the difficulty, meaning you now need 4 successes to shoot the guard. Got a smartlink? It will lower the difficulty by two.

CODE
Base requires one success.
Light/Glare/Etc +1 to +4 difficulty
Target Moving +1 difficulty & +1 difficulty per success on dodge test.
Smart-link -2 difficulty


To keep the variable success relative to the outcome, every additional success can apply directly to the resistance test.

Shooter ends up having 5 successes beyond what was required to succeed at the task. Victim must now roll to resist damage.
CODE
Pistol 9M + 5 successes  Effective power 14
Armor 5/3
Victim will take 9 boxes of damage -1 per success on resistance test.

This is all being made up as I type based on thoughts and experiences from other systems. Commentary?

Edit: Kagetenshi--If you'd like to completely link the Skill and Attribute to each other, then you can have the skill roll be a combination of Qck and Pistols.

This post has been edited by McQuillan: Mar 26 2005, 05:38 AM
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 26 2005, 05:39 AM
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I don't like it. It makes low skill incapable of achieving certain objectives, and makes bonuses worthless in the absence of penalties.

Edit: yeah, I know, but Pistols 1 is cheap and Quickness 8 applies to a whole host of other skills. That's assuming there's still some sort of penalty for defaulting, otherwise there's no real point to buying skills linked to any attribute you care about more than one skill in (until you hit RML).

~J
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BishopMcQ
post Mar 26 2005, 05:36 AM
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As I said, it's not polished by any means...

Is it the base concept that bugs you or just a need for a fuller system? With the edit of having the skill roll be Qck + Pistols, then you would see the difference between someone who is naturally talented and someone who is well-trained in a specific application.

It would also be plausable to state that certain skills cannot be defaulted to (Sorcery for example) or that there are modifiers for simply using an attribute without training (similar to the +4)
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Mar 26 2005, 04:06 PM)
How do you keep Skills meaningful as compared to Attributes, then?

Dunno ... that's probably why I am not a game designer, eh? ;) :D

Maybe eliminate defaulting to an Attribute if you don't have the skill???
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Arethusa
post Mar 26 2005, 07:07 AM
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So you can't do anything if you don't have the skill, but as soon as you have even the most rudimentary training, you can be incredibly capable?
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 07:49 AM
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Eh, it was a smart-assed suggestion.

Personally, I'm alright with just having Attribute + Skill, and if you don't have the Skill then just use the Attribute (maybe at a penalty)
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RunnerPaul
post Mar 26 2005, 08:07 AM
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Or maybe borrow a page from the Icosahedron-Based-System-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named, and have some skill rolls atemptable if someone doesn't actually have points invested in the skill (i.e. rolling attribute alone), and some off limits to being used untrained (i.e. you must have a Rating of at least 1 in the skill before you can attempt the skill roll). Predetermined of course, on a case by case basis on whether or not it makes sense for each particular skill, and neatly listed in the core rules?
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Ol' Scratch
post Mar 26 2005, 08:16 AM
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QUOTE (Kanada Ten)
One way to handle packages is to make sample NPCs (something neat for the webpage, too) using the creation rules for various commonly encountered roles, and additional contacts. Of course, this can also be handled communally or using a resource like TSS. This allow the "packages" to be nothing more than possibilities, by keeping them away from the rules.

They've done that in every edition as far as I know. They called them "archetypes." :)

The only problems are that 1) they're rarely done well and 2) they don't account for the full scope of the rules.
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RunnerPaul
post Mar 26 2005, 08:26 AM
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And 3) The proofreaders always seem to miss the glaring errors on the first printing, leaving it for errata and subsequent printings to make a character sheet that's legal per the chargen rules.
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Commiekeebler
post Mar 26 2005, 11:55 AM
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Requests for 4th edition? Great. Hopefully a game designer or two will read mine. I don't mean any offense, but I'm going to keep this post short and to the point at the expense of sweetness. Bear with me as I go over the current problems of the game I love to pieces. Just so you know, I hate it because I care.

In order of desireability:

1) Make the four archetypes (sam, rigger, mage, decker) balanced. Yes, I know there are adepts - for the sake of this argument, they are sams. Currently, the mage is way ahead of everyone else (geek the mage, remember?). This is proven by empirical observation of the few Shadowrun-themed MUSHes (Seattle, Detroit, London, etc). Mages make the most desired "character class" so much that the applications for one have to be limited or neutered (in a bad way) just so that population ratio remains somewhat close to canon, as opposed to one mundane for every 10 mages online. I direct you to London (telnet: pix.isa-geek.com 7112), which "fixed the mages" in the most reasonable way.

2) KISS. Electronic warfare, vehicle combat, decking, cyberware stress, implant surgery... what were you thinking? Most gamers draw the line at the excel spreadsheet. I.e. if I have to use a spreadsheet to play, I'm out. So, to rudely reiterate, Keep It Simple, Stupid ™. As a GM, I reduce rigger/decker stuff to single success rolls just to keep the game going as opposed to going 'huh?'

3) I hear the rumor that riggers and deckers are becoming one archetype? No argument from me, so long as they become simple enough to play.

4) Off-hand weapons, ambidexterity, counterstrike, improved skill: martial arts and enhanced artwinkulation (excuse me, articulation): all of these are ever slightly in need of adjustment. Things that add dice to melee rolls need to be looked at. In the second edition, trolls were kings, because Reach was the game breaker. Now it's just the number of dice. Keep these bonuses reasonable!

5) Light pistols. Never in my experience as a GM and a player in 9 years of playing Shadowrun, have I ever seen a light pistol fired. What's the point of having useless gear in the book? It's taking space that could be used by extra-vigorous phallic symbols of troll manhood, if not extra-spiffy climbing gear and detailed descriptions of complete poc sec, disposable cellphone and credstick functionality. And it's not just the pistols: a lot of gear is a little confused in stats and price. Take the throwing knives that are as expensive as grenades (more bang for your buck eh).

6) Hot potato: just another spell that breaks the game. At least it doesn't make you rip your cyberarm off or claw your cybereyes out... too bad about that nose ring, though, eh? :cyber:
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 26 2005, 01:43 PM
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QUOTE (Fortune)
Eh, it was a smart-assed suggestion.

Personally, I'm alright with just having Attribute + Skill, and if you don't have the Skill then just use the Attribute (maybe at a penalty)

Again, though, then it moves from Attributes being moderately more powerful than Skills to Skills being practically worthless except insofar as a single point allows you to bring your Attributes to bear without penalty.

QUOTE (Commiekeebler)
Make the four archetypes (sam, rigger, mage, decker) balanced. Yes, I know there are adepts - for the sake of this argument, they are sams. Currently, the mage is way ahead of everyone else (geek the mage, remember?). This is proven by empirical observation of the few Shadowrun-themed MUSHes (Seattle, Detroit, London, etc). Mages make the most desired "character class" so much that the applications for one have to be limited or neutered (in a bad way) just so that population ratio remains somewhat close to canon, as opposed to one mundane for every 10 mages online. I direct you to London (telnet: pix.isa-geek.com 7112), which "fixed the mages" in the most reasonable way.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Mages make the most desired archetype because they're both powerful and simple, and that anyone going for raw power at chargen would go with a Rigger (or a Decker if they're looking to the future for when the power's going to come into play).

~J
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Commiekeebler
post Mar 26 2005, 01:54 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi @ Mar 26 2005, 08:43 AM)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that Mages make the most desired archetype because they're both powerful and simple, and that anyone going for raw power at chargen would go with a Rigger (or a Decker if they're looking to the future for when the power's going to come into play).

Actually, the reasons for Mages being so popular are several:

1) Flexibility
The magician is the most flexible team member - a well-picked spell repertoire makes him most dangerous in combat due to the way he or she may alter the battlefield or a scenario made by the gamemaster. We're talking about physical barriers used for air bubbles to walk under water, a phantasm of a Lonestar Citymaster APC to scare off a go-gang, the hotpotato to disarm that same gang in one fell swoop and influence to milk the Johnson for money, target for info and cooperation, and so on and so forth.

2) Convenience
Magician doesn't set off MAD detectors. A samurai needs to worry about concealability of that assault cannon down his pants and partially up his ass. The magician's manabolt doesn't bother him so. A rigger's combat drone with all the missiles and heavy machine guns can mow down samurai like a lawn-mоwer, but that drone needs to be properly deployed, prepared in advance, fueled up, maintained. A magician's pack of 6-8 elementals, while have to be summoned in advance, are available at a snap of his fingers. So are his spells - even when unarmed, unarmored, in his own bathroom, taking a shower or a dump, the magician is still a threat. Likewise, rigger's recon drones are made obsolete with capabilities of an astral magician and his harem of spirits: they work faster, easier, and are less detectable.

3) Power
Astral magician with a bunch of guard-dog elementals in tow is an unfair match for other archetypes, even the adept. Worse yet is a magician who OD's on quickened spells and foci - he may become practically invincible - even in that shower.

I've just listed the main problems, but there are others: gang-banging watchers, astral space eavesdropping, custom spells, ritual sorcery, etc.
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 02:56 PM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Again, though, then it moves from Attributes being moderately more powerful than Skills to Skills being practically worthless except insofar as a single point allows you to bring your Attributes to bear without penalty.

Maybe Skill + Attribute, but you can only use as many Attribute dice as you have in the Skill. Skill dice themselves should be unlimited though.
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Dawnshadow
post Mar 26 2005, 03:15 PM
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I don't know. I kindof like the way it works presently -- what I dislike is the training costs in karma, for the high attributes with low skills.

The reason I don't like attribute bonus dice is that most skills don't depend solely on one attribute. Almost all combat techniques depend on strength and quickness, for instance, but most of the melee are strength, and ranged are quickness -- really, there's some overlap, so I don't like giving attribute dice as a bonus on top of the skill, not when there's also combat pool.

What I don't like seeing, is someone with attributes in the 6-9 range, and only one skill point.

Which leads to 2 possibilities to my mind

1: the 1 karma to get a starting skill gives more than 1 skill point -- instead they get attribute/3. For instance, quick 9 adept spends 1 karma to buy the pistols skill, and gets 3 skill points.

2: Revise the training costs table to something like:

less than 1/2 attribute: 1
less than attribute: 1.5
less than 2* attribute: 2
more than 2* attribute: 2.5
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 03:19 PM
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QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
... not when there's also combat pool.

Assuming there is still a Combat Pool ... or indeed any Pools. As I said before (maybe in another thread), I think doing away with Pools (especially the Spell Pool) would go a long way towards balancing things in Shadowrun.
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Dawnshadow
post Mar 26 2005, 03:27 PM
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True enough Fortune, but I rather hope they keep the different pools. I never found them really unbalancing, and it made combat more interesting -- you could get tangible benefits for planning how something was going to work out. Throw everything in, and hope you don't get hit because you aren't at all ready for it, or take the shot and be ready to roll with the counter or dive for cover when they shoot back. It was a good, easy mechanic, and saved writing loads of rules to keep it from degerating into 'I hit him with my sword' or 'I shoot him'
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Siege
post Mar 26 2005, 03:27 PM
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I don't think an artificial limitation is going to balance the inherent benefit to having a higher Stat than not.

If Stat affects skill, then it will always be better to have a larger Stat than not.

Skills will stil be important as others have noted because:
  1. Skill progression is unlimited
  2. Stats are limited
  3. Some difficulty numbers cannot be achieved with Stat alone

One improvised solution came from FoF's Strength versus recoil bonus table. By applying a similar bonus to other attributes and related skills, stats provided a practical impact on skills and skill success.

-Siege

Edit: For code
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Siege
post Mar 26 2005, 03:30 PM
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And in first edition, wiz-worms were hampered by Initiative rules. And they still tend to be glass cannons at the best of times.

Although allowing Init increase spells and Geas to reduce Magic loss from essence loss gave wiz-worms a blank check for straddling the line of magic and cyber.

-Siege
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Commiekeebler
post Mar 26 2005, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE (Dawnshadow)
True enough Fortune, but I rather hope they keep the different pools. I never found them really unbalancing, and it made combat more interesting -- you could get tangible benefits for planning how something was going to work out. Throw everything in, and hope you don't get hit because you aren't at all ready for it, or take the shot and be ready to roll with the counter or dive for cover when they shoot back.

I disagree with the sentiment. One pool is plenty - multiple pools dilute the idea. For example, a magician can cast an uber-powerful spell using all his spell pool dice and still have full combat pool to dodge return fire from mundane opponents.

In other words, I'd rather have one "attention" pool be used for everything - from rigging to magic to melee to damage resistance. That way, if you cast that big spell, you leave yourself open to everything, not just magic.

Task pool? Social pool? Bah. If we breed those pools like rabbits, we'll have one for every skill and attribute and these pools won't be about hard choices any more, but natural extensions of the related skills and attributes. That's why having many pools is like having no pools at all.
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Dawnshadow
post Mar 26 2005, 03:50 PM
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Having never played riggers or deckers I don't know the intricacies of their pools, but I know that for spell pool and combat pool.. there's minimal overlap, and that's how it really should be, I think. Combat, quickness makes sense to have an impact on.. You can dodge, that's your agility.. you can roll with a blow, that's agility too. You can twist to minimize a blow.. there's agility again. But magic? You can't dodge drain.. but if you're strong enough magically (high magic attribute) you might be able to absorb it.

Not knowing about riggers and deckers, I can't comment there.

I agree though, breeding pools like rabbits is a bad idea, but one pool just doesn't make sense. You could combine everything, but then you have magic attribute affecting dodge.. or quickness affecting drain resistance.
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 26 2005, 04:13 PM
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QUOTE (Commiekeebler @ Mar 26 2005, 08:54 AM)
1) Flexibility
The magician is the most flexible team member - a well-picked spell repertoire makes him most dangerous in combat due to the way he or she may alter the battlefield or a scenario made by the gamemaster.

Not seeing it.

QUOTE
We're talking about physical barriers used for air bubbles to walk under water

Send something that doesn't breathe down there.
QUOTE
a phantasm of a Lonestar Citymaster APC to scare off a go-gang

If you use the real thing, you've got backup firepower as well.
QUOTE
the hotpotato to disarm that same gang in one fell swoop

What does it matter if nothing they're carrying scratches you?
QUOTE
and influence to milk the Johnson for money

And not only lose the job, but also get a new contract out on your head
QUOTE
target for info and cooperation

This one you've got, though people tend to cooperate when staring down MMG barrels. Then again, there's a reason people run in teams rather than solo.

QUOTE
A rigger's combat drone with all the missiles and heavy machine guns can mow down samurai like a lawn-m?wer, but that drone needs to be properly deployed, prepared in advance, fueled up, maintained.

Rotodrones make deployment a snap, preparation should be second nature. Sure it's more effort, but that's all stuff that's transparent to the player.
QUOTE
Likewise, rigger's recon drones are made obsolete with capabilities of an astral magician and his harem of spirits: they work faster, easier, and are less detectable.

And are orders of magnitude less effective. The range of even mid-level sensors frequently far exceeds a spirit's entire domain.

I also disagree that they're more powerful, but I'll get to that if and when I figure out how to word my argument better.

QUOTE (Fortune)
Assuming there is still a Combat Pool ... or indeed any Pools. As I said before (maybe in another thread), I think doing away with Pools (especially the Spell Pool) would go a long way towards balancing things in Shadowrun.

Why do you say that? I see it just taking away one of the things that makes the system special and not balancing anything, but I'd like to hear your reasoning here.

~J
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 04:50 PM
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Lots of people bitch about how magic is overpowered, and that mundanes should have more defence against it. The Spell Pool goes a long way towards making this actually true. As was said above, everyone has access to the Combat Pool, but when Mages cast spells, they can blow Spell Pool and still have all their Combat Pool remaining for defence. Mundanes can save their Combat Pool for defence as well, but then don't get to use extra dice the way mages do.

It's just a thought ... we are just throwing out suppositions and such. I think the whole system should be overhauled, but as I said earlier, I'm not a game designer. :)
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 26 2005, 05:09 PM
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That sounds more like an argument for abolishing or lessening Spell Pool than pools in general.

~J
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Fortune
post Mar 26 2005, 05:15 PM
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Note that I did say in my earlier post "especially the Spell Pool".

But I do think that Pools in general could be done away with if the base mechanics are changed enough.
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Kagetenshi
post Mar 26 2005, 05:16 PM
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Well, yes, but likewise the system could be reworked to be based on d13s. All we really have to go on right now is the flawed assumption that it won't be all that different in terms of base mechanic, but where's the fun in just staying quiet until we get more info?

~J
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