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> SR4 attempted summary, What tisoz et al have told us thus far
Talia Invierno
post Aug 21 2005, 09:26 PM
Post #1


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Per the request in the other threads to try to pull together all the information into a single place (and because it would be useful), I'll attempt here, in the first post, to summarise and keep updated tisoz's (and JongWK's, and others') SR4 information. Call it a DAQ: Dumpshock-Asked (and Answered) Questions. Straight data only: leave the analysis to the other threads. Structure okay for everyone? (Oh, and I'm not touching the errata.)


CHARGEN

Q. How's the BP cost for the different races now?

25 dwarf, 20 ork, 30 elf, 40 troll.
Metatype abilities look unchanged (vision, etc.)
Human: +1Edge
Ork: +3B, +2S, -1C, -1L
Dwarf: +1B, -1R, +2S, +1W, -1Initiative
Elf: +1A, +2C
Troll: +4B, -1A, +4S, -2C, -1I, -1L, -1Initiative

Q. What is the chargen structure?

400 Build Points (bp)
Attributes
  • 1: Free (+ any racial modifiers)
  • 2-5: 10 bp per point
  • 6: 25 bp
Maximum points allocated to physical + mental attributes is capped at 50% of total points. Magic, Edge, Resonance are not included in this cap.

Active Skills
  • 4 points per skill
  • 10 points for a skill group
  • 2 points for a specialization.
Max at 6 without an exceptional quality, then 7.
Start with only one skill at 6 with the rest 4 or lower, or two at 5 with the rest 4 or lower. No starting with a 5 and a 6. Maximum group rating at chargen is 4.

Knowledge skills: 1/2 active price.
Resources: 5000 per BP max 50 BP, but looks like a lot of stuff is reduced in price.
Spells: 3 BP per spell, 5 karma during play.
Contacts: 1 BP per rating point.

Q. How can a PC become Awakened?

Buy the positive quality of Magician (15 bp). (Presumably there is also an adept positive quality, but I haven't seen it yet.)

Q. How can a PC become a Technomancer?

Buy the positive quality of Technomancer (5 bp).

Q. Okay, cutting to the chase: which qualities made it?

Infirm made it, but the mechanics are totally different.

Ambidextrous, animal empathy, aptitude, astral chameleon, blandness, codeslinger, double jointed, exceptional attribute, first impression was friendly face, focused concentration, guts, high pain tolerance, home ground, human looking, lucky, magic resistance, murky link was poor astral link, natural hardenning, natural immunity, photographic memory, quick healer, resistance to pathogens/toxins, toughness, will to live, allergy, astral beacon was astral impressions, bad luck is like cursed karma, codeblock, combat paralysis, elf poser, gremlins, incompetant, low pain tolerance, scorched, sensitive neural structure, sensitive system, simsense vertigo, spirit bane, uncouth, uneducated, weqk immune system.

New: addiction, ork poser.

No phobias, flashbacks, bad karma, dark secret, mysterious cyberware, amnesia, or day job.

Q. What about Friends-in-high places and Friends abroad?

Friends in High Places can be simulated by a Connections 6 Contact (i.e. it doesn't exist as a Quality, but it can still be used in the game). The special effect of Friends Abroad (being able to make new contacts easily in other places) isn't on the Qualities list. Sorry, but you're just going to have to RP your contacts.

Q. How do contacts work?

Contacts are bought at a cost equal to their Connections + Loyalty level (a Connection 2/Loyalty 3 contact costs 5 BP). The old "Buddy" designation is about Loyalty level 3-4, while the old Friend For Life designation is about Loyalty level 5-6. Connection is how "uber" your contact is on the food chain. Level 1 means they only have access to their own skills and equipment attached to their profession (which isn't so bad if you're only asking for a beer from a Bartender, but don't try to ask for a Shotgun or a new Hacker program). Higher levels of Connections means either they have access to more and better equipment (Corporate Scientist with access to a particle accelerator) or they are willing to introduce you to their own contacts (Fixers with a low Connection rating do not necessarily have few connections... they just aren't willing to introduce you to them), or perhaps they are higher up on the food chain (Corporate Executive rather than Middle Management/Grunt).

Q. I've got a face character with an insane amount of contacts. Under a system like that it would probably cost 100 BP just in contacts. Do you at least start with any for free?

Nope. No free contacts. The thing is, you can probably "lump" a lot of your contacts together under a Connections 6/Loyalty 3 Fixer, someone who can easily introduce you to friend-of-a-friend type contacts.

Q. Are shapeshifters, vampires or the regeneration power listed for NPCs/critters? How does Regeneration work now? Does it heal stun damage?

The main book has no provision for PCs to be shapeshifters. Regeneration rapidly heals any damage. A Magic + Body test is made at the end of the combat turn, and any hits on this test regenerates 1 point of Physical OR Stun damage (I don't know how one would decide, other than picking the "best" configuration based on wound penalties). If a critter takes Physical damage into Overflow, they still get to make a Regeneration test at the end of the combat turn. After the Regeneration test is made, if the overflow is greater than the Body attribute, the critter dies (this is the same as any PC, NPC, or critter).


SKILLS and ATTRIBUTES

Q. I was looking at the sample character sheets and I noticed a lot more stats than normal. What exactly do they do, and have they changed the regular stats at all, like what they affect, and what do the new stats affect?

The new attributes are Agility, Reaction, Intuition, Logic, and Edge. The only differences are that Quickness was split into Agility and Reaction, Intelligence into Intuition and Logic, and an Edge stat was added. The division of Intelligence was to delink Perception from Intelligence. Agility is your hand-eye coordination, while reaction is your speed. Edge is effectively a Karma pool - you can add a # of dice equal to your Edge to a number of rolls equal to your Edge attribute (IIRC), and also use it to still try to roll on tests where the modifiers reduced your die pool to 0 or less. (See "Edge" in the next section.)

Q. What about initiative?

Initiative is now a derived attribute, Reaction + Intuition.

Q. And dodge?

Dodge is now an active skill.

Q. Some PCs have to buy special attributes?

Technomancers have to buy Resonance attribute. Magician, Adept, and Mystic Adepts have to buy Magic attribute.

Q. Do they get the first point free with that?

Resonance and Magic attribute begin at 1. Both Resonance and Magic go down with loss of essence.

Q. Does that mean you have to put points into magic just like any other attribute or is it the same as in sr3 where you start at 6 then go up from there with initiations?

Yes, Magic is now an attribute just like any other. Magic no longer starts equal to Essence, it needs to be bought up like anything else.

Q. What do the attribute ratings mean?

1 - weak
2 - underdeveloped
3 - typical
4 - improved
5 - superior
6 - maximum unmodified human

Q. What do the skill ratings mean?
  • No Rating - unaware. A complete absence of knowledge or practice. Generally, this degree of ignorance can only be achieved with the Incompetent negative quality.
  • Rating 0 - untrained. The general baseline of knowledge shared by society. This is not incompetence, it is the standard level of untrained knowledge held by any Joe Average.
  • 1 - beginner. Has done this a few times. Can handle some easy tasks, some of the time.
  • 2 - novice. Has solid grasp of the fundamentals, but shaky on more complex yet still routine procedures.
  • 3 - Professional - college athlete, firearms as beat cop, tech as college grad, social as Mr Johnson, vehicle as cabbie, knowledge as 2 year degree. Competent at general skilled tasks. “Average” skill level for starting characters and NPCs.
  • 4 - Veteran - minor league ball player, marine or airborne, tech as 4 year experience, social as diplomat, vehicle as NASCAR driver, bachelors degree. Very good at what you do; can handle difficult tasks with ease.
  • 5 - Expert - pro athlete, SWAT team member, top scientist, VP, vehicle as Ancients go-ganger(wtf?), master's degree. Star status: your expertise gives you a reputation.
  • 6 - Elite - Athletic superstar, superstar among elite forces, The Wright Brothers, President, Blue Angel stunt pilot, doctorate degree. The "best of the rest." Maximum skill level for "rank-and-file" unnamed NPCs and starting characters.
  • 7 - Legendary - Athletic legend Babe Ruth, Wild Bill Hickock, Edison, Fastjack, Reagan, Damien Knight, Red Baron, Einstein, Dr. Raven. The "best of the best." Someone whose expertise outranks all others in all of known history. Can only be achieved with the Aptitude Quality.
Q. What are the skill groups?
  • Athletics: Climbing, Gymnastics, Running, Swimming
  • Biotech: Cybertechnology, First Aid, Medicine
  • Close Combat: Blades, Clubs, Unarmed Combat (Note: Exotic Melee Weapon is NOT in any group. Also, Cyberimplant combat has been folded into the other weapon skills, like Unarmed and Blades)
  • Conjuring: Banishing, Binding, Summoning
  • Cracking: Cybercombat, Electronic Warfare, Hacking
  • Electronics: Computer, Data Search, Hardware, Software
    Firearms - Automatics, Longarms, Pistols (Note: Exotic Ranged Weapon is NOT in any group)
  • Influence: Con, Etiquette, Leadership, Negotiation
  • Mechanic: Aeronautics Mechanic, Automotive Mechanic, Industrial Mechanic, Nautical Mechanic
  • Outdoors: Navigation, Survival, Tracking
  • Sorcery: Counterspelling, Ritual Spellcasting, Spellcasting
  • Stealth: Disguise, Infiltration, Palming, Shadowing
  • Tasking: Compiling, Decompiling, Registering
Q. Which skills don't fall into a skill group?

Archery, Armorer, Artisan, Assensing, Astral Combat, Demolitions, Diving, Dodge, Escape Artist, Forgery, Gunnery, Heavy Weapons, Instruction, Intimidation, Locksmith, Parachuting, Perception, Pilot Aerospace, Pilot Aircraft, Pilot Anthroform, Pilot Exotic Vehicle, Pilot Ground Craft, Pilot Watercraft, Throwing Weapons, and all Knowledge Skills.

Q. What is the magical attribute for spellcasting/conjuring for success tests: magic, willpower or charisma?

Magic Attribute.

Q. How do I raise a skill or attribute?

New Active Skill (Rating 1) - 4 Karma
New Active Skill Group (Rating 1) - 10 Karma
New Knowledge/Language Skill (Rating 1) - 2 Karma
New Specialization (tack on a +2 for the Specialization, only ONE specialization is allowed for any skill, and new specializations "overwrite" the old ones, but only at GM's discretion) - 2 Karma
(Special Note: Raising a Skill above 6 costs double the usual amount of Karma, and can only be done if you have Aptitude in that skill)
Improving an Active Skill by 1 - (New Rating) x 2 Karma
Improving an Active Skill Group by 1 - (New Rating) x 5 Karma
Improving an Attribute by 1 - (New Rating) x 3 Karma
Improving a Knowledge/Language skill by 1 - (New Rating) Karma
New Positive Quality (the old "Edge") - BP Cost x 2 Karma
Removing a Negative Quality ("Flaws") - BP Bonus x 2 Karma
New Spell - 5 Karma
New Complex Form (Rating 1) - 2 Karma
Improving a Complex Form by 1 - (New Rating)

Q. What happens if I raise a single skill within a skill group?

If you raise a skill within a group separately, you can no longer raise the group.

Q. Can specializations exceed the skill cap of 6? As in Firearms Skill Group 6 (spec:Pistols +2) for 8 dice?

You can't specialize with Skill Groups, but you could do so with a single skill (Pistols 6/Automatics 8 ... the extra dice does not count for the skill limit). Specialization is a modifier to the dice pool, not an increase in skill, or that's the way it looks.

Q. Defaulting, pg 110. What is up with that?

-1 modifier or GM can declare they cannot try. Edge can augment.

Q. Does anyone know what Aptitude does exactly? It sounds like it makes it possible to break the skill 6 barrier - and not just by one point by the sound of it.

Nope. It only allows you to reach 7 with a skill as your max, that's it.

Q. An attribute cap? Does this mean that adept power and ware can no longer give you supertroll stats? A human with reaction 6 adds wired 1, does his reaction go to 7 or stay at 6?

The augmented Reaction cap is 9 for everyone but Dwarves (which is at 7). Thus, your maximum Reaction will probably be a 9. A human with a Reaction 6 and Wired 1 will have a Reaction of 7. There is a hard cap for maximum augmented attribute, so both sammies and adepts will have, at most, a 10 augmented Reaction and 7 natural Reaction (but only if you have Exceptional Attribute: Reaction).

Q. Is Reaction capped at 9 even when you got this extra thing so your unmodified limit is 7?

If you get Exceptional Attribute, you can boost your augmented Reaction rating to 10.

Q. So the max augmented stat is your 'normal' max +3?

Racial Max * 1.5, round down.

Q. What kinds of tests does SR4 have?

There are now three types of tests: Opposed Tests, Threshold tests, and Extended tests. Open tests no longer exist. These were tests like with stealth, where you'd roll and your highest die roll would become the opponents target number. This type of test was always more than a little wonky and could be extremely random, and we hated it, so we chuked it.

Q. What is an opposed test?

Opposed tests are your standard My Dice vs Their Dice tests, with you wanting to get more hits than your oppoenent or whatever is resisting you.

Q. What is a threshold test?

Threshold tests are generally unopposed type of tests where you're simply trying to succeed at an action. Things like climbing would be a Threshold test. The GM will give you a threshold of hits that you need to meet or beat to succeed at your test. A threshold of 1-2 is relatively easy, while a threshold of 4-5 is pretty difficult. It's GM fiat as to how difficult a lot of thresholds are, so again, bribes work wonders.

Q. What about extended tests?

Extended tests are written up in the following manner: Dice Pool (Threshold, Time)

For example, Strength + Swimming (5, 1 hour). You roll multiple times, tallying up hits until you exceed the threshold. Each roll represents the time period listed. For example, in the previous test, if you were swimming across a lake, and you rolled three times (finally accumulating 5 hits after three rolls), you would take 3 Hours to do that task.

The GM, at his/her discretion, may limit the amount of rolls made to a number (they suggest a maximum of rolls equal to the number of dice in the dice pool). If a glitch occurs, the GM may decide to inconvenience the PC in some way (represented by "removing" the hits by 1d6). On a critical glitch, the whole thing is a bust, and the character has to start over.

PCs can also attempt to do a "rush job" and cut the interval time in half. However, this makes it so that 1s AND 2s can trigger a glitch.

Q. What is a glitch?

A glitch is having half or more of your dice come up as 1s. If you Glitch AND you don't score any hits, it's a Critical Glitch.

Q. Is there a mechanic for automatic successes?

If the dicepool is large enough, you can get automatic successes. 4-7 is one, +1 per 4 there after. No auto-successes on "stressful" rolls.

Q. Is there an AR mode that doesn't add TN mods to physical activities? or does the AR mod not apply to AR-assisted physical activities, such as shooting with a smartlink?

You don't automatically get AR bonuses for everything you do, only certain things, and that's really GM call as to whether or not you do get a bonus, and what that bonus would be. Most of the time the bonus is going to be ina situation for readily accessible info downloaded from the Matrix (or uploaded off of chip or something) will directly aid you in your task.

Q. Since there's now skill caps, how much karma would it take to hit max (6) in every available attribute and skill?

The tentative estimate is that a magically active character requires 3242 bp, minus the 400 bp or so for starting. Ellery worked it out! Here's the exact structure:
[QUOTE] Well, okay, we can make a stab at this now. ka=karma, bp=build points

Skills cost 44ka, 24bp to hit 6. 28ka more to hit 7. 2ka more to add a specialization.
Skill groups cost 110ka, 60bp to hit 6.
Attributes cost 60ka, 65bp to hit 6.

We have 13 skill groups (containing 44 skills) and 24 skills to raise, plus 10 attributes.

Let's suppose we blow all our build points and don't use them on any skills or attributes.

600ka maxes all our attributes.
1430ka raises all skill groups to 6.
1056ka raises all other skills to 6.
136ka gives all skills a specialization.

So, we have 6 in everything at 3242ka.

1360ka is probably a good guess for the cost to enable raising skills to 7.
1904ka raises all skills to 7.

So it's an extra 3264ka to truly top out in absolutely everything.

Net cost: 6506 karma to be the best ever, throughout history, in everything. (Since we didn't use any build points, and those can be worth up to twice as much as karma points, we'd probably hit this limit sooner. Then again, we might pick up a few dozen knowledge skills, too.)

It's not a danger for most PCs, I wouldn't think, but it is surprisingly attainable compared to SR3. [/QUOTE]

EDGE, DICE POOLS, and TNs

Q. What happened to dice pools?

Dice pools as you knew them are gone. Combat, Astral, Hacking, Rigging, Karma Pools, all gone. The core mechanic now is skill plus attribute, plus or minus any modifiers in dice, and that is now referred to as your dice pool for the test.

Q. What happened to TNs?

Target numbers don't change anymore. Your target number is always 5, and this is called a Hit. Modifers add or subtract dice from your dice pool rather than modifying your target number.

Q. Exactly *how* does the Edge mechanic work? Does it add dice? Do they have to be rolled separately, so you can see them explode, or do they make all the dice explode? And how often can you use it?

Edge is a bought Attribute. You may add a number of dice up to your full edge attribute to a roll and all dice on that roll explode. (Does not apply to longshot test.)
You may add edge dice after a roll, only the edge dice explode. (Does not apply to longshot test.)
You may spend a point of edge to reroll failures, like Karma pool use in #3rd.
If dice pool was reduced to 0 through modifiers, longshot test, you may use edge dice, but they do not explode.
You may spend a point of edge to go first in an initiative pass. (Multiple people spending edge this way go according to initiative score.)
You may spend edge to gain an initiative pass in one combat turn. (As above.)
You may use edge to negate a glitch or critical glitch.
You may use edge to invoke the Dead Man's trigger rule, take an action when your condition monitor is full.
Edge renews when GM decides.


WEAPONS / ARMOUR / DAMAGE and other equipment

Q. How does gear acquisition/Availability/Legality rating work?

Legality: There are three "Ratings" for Legality. Legal, Restricted, and Forbidden. Restricted means you can only own it under certain circumstances, often something like a Permit. Forbidden means that private citizens are never allowed to legally own or possess the item, under any circumstances.

Availability: Acquiring anything with an availability rating is now generally an Extended Test using Charisma + Negotiation.

The Availability of the item is the Threshold. Charisma + Negotiation (threshold = Availability) Extended Test. You can buy extra dice for the Extended Test by spending extra nuyen on the item. The Interval is based on how expensive the item is:
  • Less than 100 nuyen - 12 hours
  • Less than 1000 nuyen - 1 day
  • Less than 10,000 nuyen - 2 days
  • Over 10,000 nuyen - 1 week
Q. Can you tell us the stats on some weapon classes? Like, are knives still worse than punches, are rifles less penetrating than pistols, and are light pistols actually worth having?

Combat Axe: Damage value: (Str/2+4)P ; Armor Piercing: -1
Mono Whip: Damage value: 8P ; AP: -4
Colt America l36 (Light Pistol): DV: 4P ; AP: --
Ruger Super Warhawk: DV: 6P ; AP: -2
Ingram Smartgun X: DV: 5P ; AP: --
Ranger Arms SM-4: DV: 8P ; AP: -3
Panther XXL Assault Cannon: DV: 10P ; AP: -5
Hold out: - 4P, -AP
Light: - 4P, -AP
Heavy: - 5P, -1AP
SMG: - 5P, -AP
AR: - 6P, -1AP
Sniper: 7P or 8P, -1AP (one available at chargen is 7P)
Knife: (Str/2 + 1)P, -AP
Unarmed: (Str/2)S, -AP
APDS Rounds: -5 AP
EX-Explosive Rounds: +2 DV, -2 AP
Gel Rounds: +2 DV(Stun), +2 AP
Lined Coat: 6/4
Armor Jacket: 8/6
Full Body Armour: 10/8

Q. What does the "P" in the 5P of the Predator mean?

yep, P is Physical.

Q. So, how much base damageboxes does a 5P Predator with AP -1 to a 6/4 lined coat ? zero ?

The coat would add 5 (not 6) dice to the resistance roll.
Base damage would be the DV + net hits on attack test, minus hits on resistance test.

Q. Is the -1 AP modifier only for checking for stun or physical damage?

It's also for reducing the Armor dice. The 6 ballistic armor on the lined coat becomes 5 bonus dice instead of 6 for the defender.

Q. Is it me or does EX Explosive now trump APDS? APDS gives -5 AP, Ex Explosive gives +2 DV, -2 AP.

APDS actually gives -4 AP, while EX Explosive is as stated (+2 DV, -2 AP). EX Explosive is more expensive, and all explosive rounds have that nasty "explodes when you have a Critical Glitch" thing (which happens a lot more often now than before, given the fact that you only have to roll half or more 1s and no hits).

Q. What about small arms AV slugs, is that in with AV missiles? Or are they [bizarrely] inferior to Ex-ex in this category?

AV rounds do not exist, although I'm assuming that the AP mods from explosive and APDS rounds still apply against Vehicle Armor (this is a rather large assumption to make, I know).

Q. Are Ex explosive and APDS ammo available at character generation?

No, as they are both above Availability of 12 at character creation. (Although this will be errata'ed: p.300 in the gear section says Availability 8; p.84 says Availability 12.)

Q. How are shot rounds for shotguns treated?

They have 3 different spreads, narrow, medium, and wide. They can shoot only 1, 2, or 3 targets within a meter of each other respectively. Damage code gets modified for each, defense roll gets different modifier for each, harder to dodge wider spread.

Q. How do those "super extra wide bursts" affect the power of shots? It seems like shotguns are still as stupid as ever.

There are Narrow and Wide bursts and autofire. Narrow increases damage, wide increases likelyhood to hit. With shotguns there are basically 3 choke settings that allow you to hit more targets, and/or make it harder to dodge and decrease the power of the attack.

Q. Is there armor out there that is likely to convert EX ammo damage to stun? Seems as though you'd need armor ratings in the 8-10+ range for that to even be a possibility.

Armor Jacket has 8 Ballistic. Full Body Armour has 10. There is no MilSpec armor in the core rules.


CYBER/BIO/GENEWARE, CHEMISTRY

Q. What cyber grades are listed, and do they operate the same way as they did in SR3?

Alpha, -20% ess., cost*2
Beta, -30% ess., cost*4
Delta, -50% ess., cost*10

Q. Are there any limitations on mixing alpha/beta/delta/std cyber like what we had in SR3?

Accessories must be the same grade as the part they are put into.

Q. What are the grades for bioware?

It says bioware and cyberware are available in 4 grades, and goes on to say about the bioware that is only available as cultured.

Q. Is bio available at creation?

Yes. Bioware overlaps a little with higher grade cyberware in some areas now though, since they both cost essence. Generally, Bio is more essence firendly, but a lot more expensive. But there are still some things only Cyber can do. And only some things Bioware can do.

Q. Can you give people stats for a standard piece cyberware? (say, the much beloved Wired Reflexes 2)

Wired 2, essence 3, capacity - n/a, availability 16R (not available under standard chargen rules of availability 12), 32,000 nuyen. System includes a trigger to turn on and off. +1 to Reaction and +1 Initiative pass per rating point. So +2 Reaction, +2 Initiative passes (roughly +20 initiative?) Wired 2 still costs comparably much essence (3), but its nuyen cost has been *divided by ten*

Wired 1, 2 ess, Avail 8R(estricted), 11000 nuyen, +1Reaction, +1 initiative pass
covered
Wired Reflexes 3 is 100K and still 5 essence.

Q. What are the (average) essence costs of implanted smartlinks? CommLinks?

0.1; 0.2.

Q. Someone asked about skillwires.

Active skillsofts are rating 1-4, knowsofts and linguasofts are 1-5.
skillsofts - rating *3000 nuyen
knowsofts - rating*1000
Linguasofts - rating*500
Skillwires are available in ratings from 1-5, rating*.2 essence, rating*4 avalability, rating*2000 nuyen. need rating of at least active softs rating. Skillwires can handle a number of skillsofts with a total rating up to 2*its own rating.

Q. do skillwires provide real skills (dice pool skill+attribute), or just dice pools of the rating?

Skillwires/softs are interesting. First of all, there is a hard cap on Active and Knowledge skillsofts, with 4 for Activesofts and 5 for Knowledge/Linguasofts. Second, you use the higher rating (either the user's skill or the skillsoft's rating). Finally, if you use the skillsoft's rating, you cannot augment it by using Edge (ouch). It follows the standard rules for skill tests (Skill + Attribute vs. threshold).

Q. What about the Biomuscles (0,4 Bioindex per rating, around 20 000¥ per rating)? Muscle toner?

Muscle Augmentation, the one that was 0.4 and 20,000, is now 0.2 and 7000 with an availability of rating *5. Muscle Toner is 8K/point.

Q. Information on any other items?

Synaptic Booster is 80K and no longer compatable with Boosted Reflexes.
Enhanced Articulation is .3 ess. and +1 die for any physical skill with a linked physical attribute. (Physical skills do not include combat skills.)
Reflex recorders work for skill groups.
Mnemonic enhancer gives no karma reduction. (insert strangled sounds from Talia)
Pain Editor avail 18, no trauma damper listed.
Full cyberarm is 15K. Cyberarm gyromounts are available at chargen. Cyber skulls are not (availability limits).
Cybereyes can be purchased with variable capacities, 4-16, .2-.5 essence. Ears follow suit.
Bonelacing essence is .5, 1, 1.5 for original 3 types. Increases power still. Adds to B and armor like it did.
Bone Density acts like bone lacing, only less essence.
Cyberlimbs now have Body rating too. Body, Strength and Agility come with rating 3, need torso too raise above 3. Do not see the old essence cost to increase them and the most expensive looks to be 250 nuyen per rating point. Probably limited by ECU (besides cap of 7).
Yes, there are still datajacks, as well as much of the cyberware.

Q. Will it be possible to hardwire one's equipment?

Definitely yes. I think the main thing that is mostly wireless is access to the Matrix and the cellular infrastructure of AR/VR Matrix 2.0. There are several options to hardwire equipment for most things, although some electronics are simply too small or unwieldy to adapt to a non-wireless version (Contact Lenses come to mind).

Q. What drugs are listed in BBB, what do they do, and do they have real life equivalents like M&M

Here's my list: Bliss, Cram, Deepweed, Jazz, Kamikaze, Long Haul, Nitro, Novacoke, Psyche, Zen, CS/Tear Gas, Gamma-Scopolamine, Narcoject, Nausea Gas, Neuro-Stun, Pepper Punch. So basically, it's the same. A few are missing (Arsenic, Green Ring, etc.), but I'm sure someone can retrofit some stats.

Q. Any word on Tactical Computers (ie, do they exist)?

Don't see it. (Then again, it's never been listed in the core books in any of the previous editions.)


COMBAT and INJURY

Q. How does initiative work now?

Initiative Attribute is Reaction + Intuition. Make an initiative roll, edge may be used. (Does this mean all dice explode?) Add hits to Initiative Attribute, this is initiative score. Act high to low, ties go at same time. If imperative to break ties compare edge, initiative, reaction attributes in that order.

Q. What are initiative passes and how do they work? I'm guessing something along the lines of actions per round?

Characters no longer have a semi-random number of actions per turn, as they have in previous editions. Now they always have a flat number of actions (or Initiative Passes), which is 1 plus extras granted by cyber/bio/magic/gear/whatever.

You roll dice equal to your Initiative Derived Attribute, and add the number of hits to your Initiative Derived Attribute, modified by wound modifiers. this determines the initiative order. Everyone goes once, then those with second, third, and fourth actions go in successive passes. If no one has the ability to get extra actions, the turn is over and initiative is determined again. No one can act in more than 4 Initiative Phases in a combat turn.

Q. So how do reaction enhancing cyber / powers / spells affect initiative? When you have more than one action / initiative pass, do you take them all at once?

It creates phases within the turn, similar to if a character had initiative over 10 in SR3.

Q. can you still take two simple actions or one complex action per turn/initiative pass?

1 Free action anytime during Pass, 2 simple or 1 complex during action phase. Similar to SR3, but no more Free actions on anyones phase.

Q. What are the combat modifiers?

They look similar to current modifiers except they modify the dice pool not the TN, especially the visibilty mods based on light, smoke.
Partial cover -2, good cover -4, blind fire -6, smartlink +2, normal vision in partial light is -2.

Q. How would it handle that i'm shooting blind (specific for through a barrier)? I've already rolled. Or do i have to declare up front i was trying to hit them?

Yes, and you apply the blind fire modifier if you couldn't see through the barrier.

Q. Is reach still in the game?

Yes.

Q. What stat is hitting people with melee weapons generally linked to, strength or agility?

Looks like agility. Blades, clubs, exotic melee weapon and unarmed.

Q. How does two-weapons melee combat work? Both with and without the ambidexterity edge (if it has made it into SR4) ... How about firing two pistols or two SMG's at the same time?

You split your dice pool for each weapon. If you're using two different weapons with two different skills (ex. An SMG and a Pistol), you use the smaller of the two pools. Recoil penalties apply to both weapons (see below). If you do not have Ambidexterity, your off hand weapon suffers a further -2 to the dice pool.

Q. How does recoil works now that TN's are fixed? (Or burst-fire / full auto, for that matter?)

Each bullet past the first gives a -1 die penalty. Each point of recoil comp eliminates one penalty point.

Q. Is Taking Aim a simple action is SR3 (-1 to TN)? Apparently similar in SR4, except that it adds a die?

Looks that way.

Q. Can you give us a short example calculation of a shot? (Complete with hitting, dodging and resisting damage)

Declare attack, apply situational modifiers, make opposed test, Compare armor, damage resistance test, apply damage.
Ranged combat summary:
  • attacker rolls Agility + combat skill +/- modifiers
  • defender rolls reaction +/- modifiers (defender using full defense rolls Reaction + Dodge +/- modifiers)
  • DV modifiers: net hits, ammunition, autofire
  • Armor used: ballistic or impact
  • Condition monitor used Physical or Stun
Q. How does dodge work?

Buy as skill. Linked to Reaction. Says Reaction + Dodge for ranged. Reaction + Dodge + Dodge for melee or Reaction v+ melee combat skill + Dodge in melee. Also a Full Parry, and a Gynastics Dodge. On your action in the Initiative Pass, you can choose to go on Full Defense.

Q. the person defending has to split their dice pools too when defending?

Nope. So you are going to want to either have lots of dice or for them to have lots of penalties going into an attack like this. Firearms is a little easier, so long as they aren't Dodging, since they only get Reaction to defend with.

Q. What does "full defense" mean? Is that a complex action, or can't you do anything else in that rurn, or what?

Yes, Full defense is a complex action which allows you to dodge for the rest of the pass. It can be used when needed but uses up the character's next available action as long as not surprised. Can carry over to next combat turn. If you did not go on Full Defense already, and still have an initiative pass, you can choose to go on Full Defense, but you sacrifice your next Initiative pass, and you only get to dodge that single attack.

Q. Only once or can you dodge multiple rounds with dodge skill?

Under Full Defense it says you dodge until your next Action Phase. Under Defense modifiers it says for each attack dodged since last action, you get a cumulative -1 modifier. Sounds like you can dodge several attacks.

Q. There's probably not any modifiers to dodge and dmg resistance mostly, right? In SR3 only shotguns and grenades modified dodge as far as I remember. So my hope lies in much less modifiers to the attack roll. Is it really the same as before?

Some Defense modifiers.
  • Defender unaware of attack, no defense possible
  • Defender wounded - wound mods
  • Defender defended against previous attack, -1 modifier cumulative for each additional defense roll
  • Defender prone, -2 pool mod limited to melee and ranged combat within 5m.
  • Defender running, +2 moDefender in melee combat, -3 pool modifier vs ranged attacks
  • Attacker firing burst or shotgun, -2mod vs wide bursts, -5 vs long wide bursts, -9 vs full auto wide bursts, -2 vs shotgun on medium spread, -4 against wide spread.
.Q. I would like to know what are the modifiers for Fullauto and Bursts for the attacker?

With Wide Bursts, you make the shot harder to dodge by the number of bullets -1 (a 6 round burst lowers the defense by -5 dice). The recoil modifier is similar, but is compensated by recoil compensation. With narrow bursts, it increases the DV of the attack by the number of bullets -1, and has the same recoil modifier.

Q. How to penetrate/destroy physical barriers?

Barriers now have Armor and Structure Ratings instead of a single Barrier Rating. You roll an unopposed Attack test, and add hits to the modified DV of the weapon.
  • Melee or Unarmed - No change
  • Monowhips/Whips - 1 DV
  • Projectile - 1 DV per projectile
  • Bullets - 2 DV per bullet
  • Explosive - Base DV x 2
  • AV rocket/missile - Base DV x 3
  • Combat Spell - No change
You can't miss unless you critically glitch. Then the barrier resists against damage using its Armor x 2, except against Demolitions (explosives attached directly) or Indirect Combat spells (use only Armor). You add the adjusted DV after Damage Resistance to the number of cumulative damage boxes the barrier has taken, and if the number of boxes exceeds the Barrier's Structure Rating, you create a 1 square meter hole. Each equivalent Structure Rating unit creates another 1 meter hole (so if you do a total of 30 boxes of damage against a Structure Rating of 10, then you create a 3 square meter hole).

Q. What happens to the slug that penetrates a barrier [easily]? Can it do damage to a target on the other side? I'm thinking shooting people through typical gyproc walls or office cubical panels.

As long as you exceed the Barrier's Armor rating with your DV, it will penetrate, but the person on the other side gets the benefit of the Barrier's Armor (added to the target's own Armor/Body).

Q. So basically any [modified] DV over the Barrier Armor rating is the new DV that the person behind faces?

Erm, no. What happens is that you take the modified DV on the attack, and if it's below the Armor Rating, it doesn't penetrate. Otherwise, you roll the attack normally (and a -6 Blind Fire modifier unless the barrier is transparent), using your Base DV, and the defender rolls normally (adding the Barrier's Armor Rating to his/her resistance test). This is one case where APDS shines, since I believe you can apply the AP modifier to both the Barrier Armor rating AND the Armor worn by the target (effectively double-dipping), but don't quote me on this (I haven't seen any examples of this in the book). Note that the table that I gave above for modifying DVs only applies to damaging the barrier itself and not a "normal" attack through a barrier.

Q. A loophole! You can layer armor still. The downside is that the outer layer has to be a box. I wonder what the social skill modifiers are for walking around inside an office cubicle that you put wheels under?

Well, I'd rule that it would be the same as vehicles. You can aim at the passenger or the vehicle under vehicle combat, and if you aim for the passenger, they get the benefit of the vehicle's armor (in this case, your steel box), but they also have -2 dice to defend.

Q. What about indirect explosives (Landmines, truck bombs, aircraft gone 9/11 style, etc)?

Resists with Armor x 2, as usual. They said "Explosives attached directly" specifically in the rules. Anti-vehicle landmines i would think are something different than normal explosives. Whether the BBB has proper rules to deal with that class of weapon, or we have to wait for the supplement for canon answer, is another question. Also a GM might count landmines as in contact if they are triggered by pressure or very close proximity.

Q. Is there a list of typical barrier armor ratings?

It's actually very similar to the table in SR3 (use Barrier Rating as the Armor Rating). The structure ratings are a linear progression of 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, etc. as the Barrier Rating (now Armor Rating) goes up.

Q. How can wounds be healed?

Time. Magical Healing. First Aid. Medicine. Using Medicine, each hit adds to your natural healing test, so it should help reduce healing time. Even physical wounds will heal naturally over time. A critical glitch on the healing test may kill you though, actually a critical glitch on the First Aid test may kill you. Medicine is not meant to be used in combat.

Q. Can the same set of wounds be healed more than once?

Not with Magical Healing. You can heal any single "set" of wounds once with First Aid and once with Magical Healing (in that order). First Aid is a very icky roll now (I think it's something like a Threshold 2 with net successes determining how many boxes are healed), but Medicine allows you to augment long-term healing. Very similar to the way it was in SR3.


MAGIC and TECHNOMANCY

Q. Does the quality of being a magician forbid to have the quality of being a technomancer?

Yes. Or at least the other way around.

Q. Considering the ability to buy positive qualities with karma and awakening being a positive quality ... is it now possible for a mundane to spend karma to become a mage/adept/technomancer?

It's GM's discretion as far as what qualities can be worked off/bought, but there is specific text that says that Magician, Adept, Mystic Adept, and Technomancer may not be awarded for Karma. *shrugs* It's up to your GM, I guess.


MAGICIANS and ASTRAL SPACE

Q. What is a Mystic Adept?

Magician's Way, Physical Mage, whatever you want to call it. And they aren't nearly as gimped as they used to be under the old SR3 canon rules.

Q. About mystic adepts, can you give some more details e.g.: will they be able to buy powerpoints with karma?

You buy Magic Attribute, just like all other Adepts (while you still have "power points", it is always equal to your Magic attribute), and then decide if you want it to apply to your Magician powers or your Adept Powers. Basically, you just put another point into "Magic Ability". Adepts no longer can outright "buy" Power Points, and they must buy Magic Attribute just like all other Awakened. Oh, here's an interesting thought: You can make the equivalent of Aspected Magicians by picking Mystic Adept and then purchasing Astral Perception and 1-5 points of Magic Ability with no adept powers. Neat, huh?

Q. Can hermetics take totems?

Both hermetics and shamans can take Mentor Spirits, which replace totems. (Shamans no longer automatically get totems.) There's definitely some roleplay aspects that come into play based on how exactly you view the traditions, but I can easily see a Hermetic that follows or heeds the words of a mentor spirit that represents an embodiment of an ideal, rather than a nature totem. Things like the converted passions concepts that showed up a while back in one of the Tir books, or The Dark King or Seductress. Mentor Spirits do not necessarily represnt the exact same thing as the Totems did. They can be the big astral spooky that a totem was, or they can just represent a powerful spirit that the character has contacted (or that contacted the character) and has bartered teaching and aiding the character in exchange for service, worship, or whatever.

Q. Is there a limit on how many Mentor Spirits a magician can ally himself to?

Only one. p79

Q. What about other types of magicians?

They weren't mentioned in the BBB. Then again, they weren't mentioned in the BBB in previous editions either.

Q. Are there idol follower totems or loa in the main book? What about blood magic and blood spirits?

There are idols in the main book. No specific Loa running around in there (although the idol templates are generic enough that they could possibly be used for Loa), and definitely no blood magic.

Q. How has astral perception and projection changed?

Projecting magician's time is now linked to Magic, not essence. Astral forms are no longer are able to pass through earth. Manifesting characters are vulnerable to mana-based effects on the physical plane.

Q. Will aspected mages still not be able to access the astral plane? Also, will initiation still improve your astral initiative?

There are no Aspected Mages. You can simulate Aspected Mages buy creating a Mystic Adept and getting Astral Perception as an Adept power and sinking all of the Magic rating points into spellcasting skills, or you can drop the Astral Perception and go with all Magic rating points into spellcasting skills. Initiate Grade does not add to Astral Initiative, which is derived from Intuition x 2.

Q. Are background counts and/or mana warps covered, and roughly speaking how do they screw with magic now?

Background counts are not covered in the BBB.


MAGIC-RELATED EQUIPMENT

Q. I'm curious about foci. What are the bonding and nuyen costs? Are there still sustaining foci? How do they work? I think I saw that power foci are now quite cheap, like 25k per point. What are the benefits?

Power foci add their force to all tests in which magic attribute is included. No help counterspelling. Foci are inexpensive, but max at chargen for any is 3 and 2 for weapon or power foci. Sustaining, binding and weapon foci are 10K*F, Spellcasting and Summoning foci are 15K*F, Counterspelling and banishing are 5K*F, and Power foci are 25K*F. They are still expensive to bond. Sustaining 2*F, weapon (3+reach)*F, power 8*F. BP can be used at chargen like karma to bind foci.
Max no. of foci bonded equal to Magic attribute, only one focus may add to any single dice pool. No mention of addiction.

Q. At what force does a weapon foci become forbidden?

They are only Restricted (as are all foci). Availability at chargen is Force 2. Btw, all combat spell formulae are Forbidden.

Q. Since stimpatches seem to no longer burn Magic points, is there any reason a mage wouldn't carry so many of these his pockets drag?

Stimpatches last Rating x 10 minutes. After they wear off you receive an additional point of stun so eventually you'll kill yourself if you keep using them. Additionally, repeated use of Stimpatches may call for the player to make an Addiction test with Threshold 2 (according to the addiction table on p248).

Q. I noticed in the other thread that combat spell formulae are Forbidden (as far as availability goes) How will this affect learning a spell at character creation or during gameplay? Will you still be able to write your own spell formulae? Will the elemental manipulation spell be included in this too?

As long as the availability is 12 or below, you can purchase it at character creation. Thus, combat spells can be learned at character creation. I think the reason they are Forbidden is not because they don't exist legally, but because any act of magic used for hurting others is automatically considered Assault, and any death is considered premeditated murder, but this is just speculation. "Elemental Manipulations" are now considered Indirect Combat Spells instead.

Q. Do hermetic libraries and shamanic lodges still exist?

All traditions have "lodges" now, although the Hermetic lodge consists of libraries and circles and stuff. It costs 500 nuyen per Force point.

Q. what are Magesight goggles?

Goggles with a fiberoptic cable on them, to cast around corners.


PHYSICAL ADEPTS

Q. Does the adept still buy powers with his magic rating? How are the power costs compared to third edition?

Yes. Some powers have been adjusted. Astral Perception costs only 1 point. Killing Hands costs 0.5 points, but only converts your damage from Stun to Physical and your hands count as magical weapons for the purpose of kicking butt (bypassing Immunity to Normal Weapons and Regeneration). For higher damage, you want Critical Strike (0.25 points per level), which adds +1 DV per level. Improved Ability works pretty much the same... +1 die for 0.5 for Combat skills, and +1 die for 0.25 for everything else. Missile Parry is 0.25 per level, and is now a Reaction + Missile Parry test, requiring more hits than the attacker to successfully parry.

Q. How do starting adepts go about getting their initial powers? In comparison to SR3, Do they cost more? Less? The same?

They get power points equal to their Magic attribute, which starts at one and can be bought up as stated elsewhere.

Q. Does this mean that after earning his first 6 power points (the ones he started with in SR3), the adept must pay 34, 40, 46 etc. karma for more powers?

An adept may not necessarily start with 6 power points in SR4, since Magic is bought just like any other attribute. Your other assessment is correct. An Adept, once they hit the Magic Attribute 6 cap, must Initiate first, then purchase the next point of Magic to hit 7 and get another point of powers. Note that you don't have to wait until then to get your first Initiate grade ... as long as your Initiate Grade (in this case, 0) is less than your Magic Attribute, you may Initiate.

Q. How does the adept power Improved Physical Attribute work in SR4? Given the greater value of attributes I would guess that the cost has been increased?

Nope. It's the same, 1 point per attribute point up to Racial Max, and then 2 points per point above the Racial Max up to the maximum augmented attribute (the hard cap).

Q. Does the Adept power Improved Ability add dice to Attribute+Skill and is there any limit on how many dice can be added in this way?

It adds dice to your dice pool, and you can never add more dice from Improved Ability than you have in your base skill. So if you have Pistols 3, you can only get up to 3 extra dice from Improved Ability: Pistols.

Q. What's up with Mystic Armor?

Mystic Armor now counts as Ballistic and Impact and works against astral combat.


SPELLCASTING

Q. What spells are available?

A complete list of spells is available here. (Thanks, the_dunner!)

Q. Is there a max force you can cast your spell at? For example, the magic attribute? or the spellcasting skill?

Maximum Force is Magic Rating x 2.

Q. I'm curious about how drain now works.

Drain value is F/2, round down, =/- modifiers, minimum of 1.
Roll Willpower + Charisma for shamans or willpower + Logic for mages. Each hit reduces Drain Value by 1, wound modifiers and sustained spells do not effect drain test.

Q. I see that Improved Ability survived into Fourth (like I assumed), but I was wondering if it's just for individual skills or if there's a set of Improved Ability powers for the various Skill Groups that would cost 1 or 1.5 or more power points for each extra dice.

Improved ability is just for individual skills, but you can purchase Improved Ability and have it apply to a skill that's rolled into a skill group (i.e. Firearms Skill group of 4 and Improved Ability Pistols +2 would give you Agility + 6 dice for Pistols and Agility + 4 dice for everything else).

Q. Also, can I assume there is an Improved Dodge of some sorts, or something that perhaps does what Combat Sense does in Third Edition?

0.5 per die. Combat Sense is totally evil now. Not only does it give you dice in Surprise tests, but it adds directly to your Reaction for the purposes of the Ranged/Melee attack opposed test while defending. It's better than Improved Ability (Dodge), because you can use it in all situations, not just full defense.

Q. How does Invisibility work now?

Invisibility affects the minds of viewers, while Improved Invisibility actually warps light around the user. Since hits (successes) are limited by Force, you definitely need higher than a Force 1. Invisibility works as an additional "buffer" for sneaking around... the person must first pierce the illusion by getting equal or more hits on their Willpower (mana illusions) or Intuition (physical illusions) than the spellcaster got on his/her spellcasting test, then they must do a Perception Test normally if the invisible character was using Infiltration/Shadowring to sneak. If the illusion is resisted, then you can attack the "invisible" character normally without the Target Hidden modifier.

Note that against technological sensors, you need to beat the Object Resistance threshold number. This means 3 hits for most standalone cameras and electronics (laser tripwires or whatnot) and 4 hits for computers, vehicle sensors, and drones. They don't get to resist, being non-living objects.

Q. Is it still impossible to heal stun damage with magic?

Yes, you still cannot heal stun damage. It even specifically says so in the Spell catalog (along with Psychological illnesses).

Q. How long does it take for Heal to come into effect, do you have to sustain it over several rounds/seconds/minutes?

The duration that Permanent spells need to be sustained is equal to twice the Drain Value of the spell (which for Heal is the Damage Level of the target -2), before Drain is reduced by the Drain resistance test, and in intervals of 1 Combat Turn. Most permanent spells allow you to use hits to reduce the time by 1 Combat Turn instead of adding to the primary effect. Each point of Essence Loss on the target reduces the dice pool for the Spellcasting test by 1.

Q. How has Increase Reflexes changed with SR4? Are there still multiple versions of it (+1-3)?

The effects are now identical to Wired Reflexes and the Adept version of Wired, so + to both Initative and Passes. There is only one version of the spell now, and it appears you choose which "bonus" you want to cast at. Each increase has a higher Threshold you have to meet, and +3 is the highest it can go.

Q. Increase Body: If you cast this on someone do they get more wound boxes? Just thinking that might be a quick way to get someone who has a full condition monitor up and about to hobble out for better healing later.

Yes. It even says so specifically in the Increase Attribute description.

Q. Is Turn to Goo in the spell list?

Yes, Turn To Goo has returned. So has Petrify.

Q. Does ongoing sustaining of spells cost you -2 dice to all actions?

Each sustained spell gives you -2 Dice for all of your actions.

Q. Can you cast more than one spell in a Complex Action (simultaneous cast) and what is the penalty for it?

You can cast multiple spells in a single action, but you must split your Spellcasting + Magic dice among all of the spells that you cast, and the drain value for each of the spells is increased by 1 point for every additional spell.

Q. And area effect spells?

Radius is now equal to the Force of the spell. (Possibly to be errata'ed. The text on p173 and p195 contradict each other. p173, under the description of area spells, uses Force for the Radius, while p195 says Magic rating.)

Q. How does ritual spellcasting work?

Can do it solo. Hits on magic + ritual spellcasting determine success. Additional members of the team, same tradition, hits grant bonus dice to leader. Team must all know spell, size is limited to lower of Force of lodge or Lowest ritual spellcasting skill of the team. Still have targeting if out of LOS. I think you now have to make sure the spotter has enough time to stay astrally projected, but a bound spirit can be used as spotters. Spotter must be able to assense the target. The leader's Magic + Ritual Spellcasting forms the base dice pool. Spell Force is limited by leader's Magic attribute. If the force is higher than leaders Magic, the entire team resists Physical drain. Takes 12 hours minus leader's Magic, minimum 1 hour.

Individuals may use foci to supplement their own tests. It isn't stated in the same place, but it mentions individuals may use foci or bound spirits who are not otherwise occupied to resist drain. So I assume a spirit could be used to Aid Sorcery. In fact, Ritual Sorcery is listed under the Aid Sorcery section. Note too, only one focus may contribute to a single dice pool, so no ritual focus + power focus + power focus. But dice pool + focus + spirit aid sorcery power seems legit for the ritual casting for each member and the same combo again for drain.

Q. In ritual sorcery, can you still withhold dice to get the ritual to sustain the spell for you?

I've read nothing in SR4 to that suggests this so far. An elemental can sustain the spell, or a sustaining focus.


CONJURING

Q. How does conjuring work?

The roll for Summoning is an opposed test of Magic + Summoning vs. the Spirit's Force. Drain is equal to twice the Spirit's hits.
The roll for Binding is an opposed test of Magic + Binding vs. the Spirit's Force x 2 (binding is harder). Drain is equal to twice the Spirit's hits.
Shamans use Magic + Charisma to soak drain. Hermetics use Magic + Logic.
Neither are linked to Logic or Charisma, although your GM may apply modifiers based on roleplaying and situation (perhaps give you extra dice based on a Charisma test, with extra dice equal to the number of hits, or if you take a long time with lots of burning incense and a boring ritual, give you extra dice based on a Logic test), but that would be your GM's call.

Q. Can you review conjuring drain?

Summoning drain is based on twice the hits the spirit gets, minimum 2. Binding drain value is based on hits, resulting from 2*F for summoning, again minimum 2DV.

Q. What kind of spirits can be conjured?

All full magicians can conjure earth, air, water, and spirits of man. That's 4. Hermetic can conjure fire spirits while shaman can conjure spirits of beasts.

Q. What are animal spirits like? And someone mentioned something about picking a spirit's powers at summoning time?

Like your typical wilderness Nature Spirit, except they also get powers to control animals. Every 3 Force points of the Spirit, you get to pick one additional power for the spirit from a list, specific to that Spirit.

Q. Is there a penalty for having active bound spirits?

All spellcasters suffer the -2 penalty per active bound spirit.


INITIATION and MAGIC LOSS

Q. Any reduction of magic when a character gets cyberware implanted? How does that work with the variable magic attribute?

Same as always. If you have 5.0 to 5.99 Essence, you lose a point of magic. If you reach 0 Magic, you burnout and are no longer Awakened. So say you had a natural Magic of 4 (and a max Magic of 6, just like every character) with an essence of 6, and you want to install a commlink. You lose 0.2 essence, bringing you down to 5.8 Essence, but you also lose a point of Magic (down to 3) and a point from your Max Magic (down to 5). If later, you install a cyberhand (0.25 Essence), it brings your Essence down to 5.55, but you don't lose another point of magic until you go below 5.

Q. Ok, then how do you figure out raising your magic attribute after that? Would you pay to have it raised to 5 (increasing the previous base) or to 4 (since your att. is now 3 thanks to the cyber?) Or does each level cost the same karma no matter what?

I can't say conclusively, based on the rules I'm reading here. It appears to be simply New Attribute Level x 3, regardless if you've incurred Essence Losses or whatnot, and I don't see any "special" rules based on that circumstance. That's something that will probably have to go up on the FAQ eventually.

Q. Can you still geas magic lost from essense loss?

There are no rules for geasa, but you can just buy back lost magic points. (These weren't in the main book in the previous editions either.)

Q. Can you explain magic loss a little further. In particular buying back magic after you have lost it. So I start with a Magic at 4. Add some cyberware, takes it down to 3. Earn me some karma during a session, I want to boost my Magic back up. Do I pay for it as though it was going back to 4 or up to 5 ? Can you just pay for it this way or do you need to do an ordeal ? Can I choose to "initate" even though I only have 3 magic?

It does not make an exception, that I saw, for reduced attributes. So here (maybe) is a loophole for staying magically active while getting implants then maxing out magic. I know that you can Initiate at any time, and your Initiate Grade cannot be higher than your Magic Rating (if it is because of Essence Loss, then you actually lose your grade). Essence Loss removes a point from both your Magic AND your Max Magic, but I haven't read any indication as to whether the Karma costs are for the current attribute or the adjusted pre-loss attribute.

Bull clarifies: Magic Loss effectively reduces your Attribute Cap. Your Magic Attribute Cap is effectively Essence+Initiate Levels. Initiation gives you access to a metamagic ability and raises your Magic Attribute Cap, but does not raise your actual Magic Attribute, as noted by others. If you lose essence, both your current magic attribute and your attribute cap drops. if your current magic rating drops to 0, you become mundane and lose all access to magic.

Q. What about initiation? When you buy back your Magic attribute point, is it from the Current Magic Attribute in Karma or from the previous Magic attribute level before the loss?

Initiation gives Increased Magic (add grade to Attribute) and metaplanar access to one metamagic. Initiating doesn't give you a shiny new magic point, but instead raises the MAX magic points you can have. As in, a 6th Grade Initiate would have a max total magic of 12. Also, once you raise this cap, you actually have to pay MORE karma to raise your magic up to the new cap.

Q. Nothing about reduction in cost with groups?

Nada, it does mention what used to be ordeals as standard fare for intiating - as in no discount for ordeal.

Q. In previous editions you had to roll for magic loss if getting a deadly wound or on certain other occasions (first aid without the +2 mage modifier ...). How does this work in SR4 and when do you have to roll for magic loss?
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apple
post Aug 21 2005, 09:55 PM
Post #2


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A little bit more chaotic:

http://www.fanpro.com/forum.001/viewtopic.php?t=17506
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SL James
post Aug 21 2005, 11:05 PM
Post #3


Shadowrun Setting Nerd
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If not for the lack of info on Hacking, one might not even need the book.
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apple
post Aug 21 2005, 11:13 PM
Post #4


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Hey, it is culminated dumpshock-wisdom. ;-)

I suppose in some days/weeks at least some threads will be closed, edited and deleted.

SYL
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 21 2005, 11:22 PM
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Well, that's one thread and part of a PM done :)
Next ...
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tisoz
post Aug 22 2005, 01:21 AM
Post #6


Free Spirit
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QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
PCs can no longer be shapeshifters.


We do not know yet. They are not in the main book. Neither are metahuman variants.
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 22 2005, 01:34 AM
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Noted, and about to be changed.
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the_dunner
post Aug 22 2005, 01:36 AM
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QUOTE
Enhanced Articulation is .3 ess. and +1 die for any task with a linked physical attribute.


There may be other mistakes, but this one jumped out at me. Enhanced Articulation gives +1 die to any PHYSICAL SKILL linked with a physical attribute. Physical Active Skills are a specific group of skills. (E.g. Climbing) They do not include combat skills.

While Enhanced articulation remains valuable, it is not the complete and total must have it was in the past.
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Kagetenshi
post Aug 22 2005, 01:38 AM
Post #9


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QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Talia Invierno)
PCs can no longer be shapeshifters.


We do not know yet. They are not in the main book. Neither are metahuman variants.

Until they release a book with rules for them, the above is true.

~J
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 22 2005, 01:57 AM
Post #10


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Changed and/or rephrased what's been mentioned. Thank you :)

Peoples, anything you happen to spot that's "off" will be good, because all I can do here is compile, verbatim inasfar as possible: and sometimes what I'm pulling into this will be wrong or misleading.

(And for now, I'm taking a break. Tomorrow is another day.)
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tisoz
post Aug 22 2005, 01:59 AM
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QUOTE (the_dunner)
QUOTE
Enhanced Articulation is .3 ess. and +1 die for any task with a linked physical attribute.


There may be other mistakes, but this one jumped out at me. Enhanced Articulation gives +1 die to any PHYSICAL SKILL linked with a physical attribute. Physical Active Skills are a specific group of skills. (E.g. Climbing) They do not include combat skills.

While Enhanced articulation remains valuable, it is not the complete and total must have it was in the past.

You are correct; I almost missed the distinction a second time. There are over an entire page of physical skills though and some do not seem too physical. Like Disguise, Perception and Survival.
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Gort
post Aug 22 2005, 02:00 AM
Post #12


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QUOTE (the_dunner)
QUOTE
Enhanced Articulation is .3 ess. and +1 die for any task with a linked physical attribute.


There may be other mistakes, but this one jumped out at me. Enhanced Articulation gives +1 die to any PHYSICAL SKILL linked with a physical attribute. Physical Active Skills are a specific group of skills. (E.g. Climbing) They do not include combat skills.

While Enhanced articulation remains valuable, it is not the complete and total must have it was in the past.

Ah, thank goodness. 0.3 essence for a +1 on so many skills is just way too much.

I kinda like that the game is lower-powered now. It'll be nice to not have to make an adept because you'd have to come up with another tired reason that your character has hundreds of thousands of nuyen to throw around otherwise...
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the_dunner
post Aug 22 2005, 02:07 AM
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One other very important thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere at all:

Shadowrun 4th Edition isn't just hardcover. It's a STITCH BOUND hardcover. What that means is that the pages are SEWN into the book. In order for pages to come out, you should now have to physically tear them out.
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White Noise
post Aug 22 2005, 02:13 AM
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Thank god. I was getting tired of duct taping my books back together.
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hobgoblin
post Aug 22 2005, 10:22 AM
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QUOTE (the_dunner)
One other very important thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere at all:

Shadowrun 4th Edition isn't just hardcover. It's a STITCH BOUND hardcover. What that means is that the pages are SEWN into the book. In order for pages to come out, you should now have to physically tear them out.

or have the pages grow old :silly:

alltho, at that time one will most likely have seen SR10 or so :P
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hahnsoo
post Aug 22 2005, 10:30 AM
Post #16


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QUOTE (hobgoblin)
QUOTE (the_dunner @ Aug 22 2005, 04:07 AM)
One other very important thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere at all:

Shadowrun 4th Edition isn't just hardcover.  It's a STITCH BOUND hardcover.  What that means is that the pages are SEWN into the book.  In order for pages to come out, you should now have to physically tear them out.

or have the pages grow old :silly:

alltho, at that time one will most likely have seen SR10 or so :P

After seeing someone's Spiral Bound SR3 BBB, I'm tempted to go that route myself.
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hobgoblin
post Aug 22 2005, 10:31 AM
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and i should have done so with my matrix book...
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JongWK
post Aug 22 2005, 01:31 PM
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Clarification: Is drain Charisma/Logic + Magic, or Charisma/Logic + Willpower?

EDIT: Maybe I'm confusing things, and conjuring drain is resisted different than spellcasting?
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JongWK
post Aug 22 2005, 01:44 PM
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QUOTE (apple)
A little bit more chaotic:

http://www.fanpro.com/forum.001/viewtopic.php?t=17506

QUOTE (FanPro.de's forum)
Who's President of the UCAS?
Angela Colloton
[Was? Die Merkel? Oh Gott!]


LOL. I can't believe I got that. :grinbig:
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Cochise
post Aug 22 2005, 02:00 PM
Post #20


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QUOTE (JongWK)
QUOTE (FanPro.de's forum)
Who's President of the UCAS?
Angela Colloton
[Was? Die Merkel? Oh Gott!]


LOL. I can't believe I got that. :grinbig:

Yeah, that's kind of surprising ... especially since at least I can't see much humor in that ...
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 22 2005, 02:12 PM
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Leave the humour to the pun in the name alone. The person -- well, maybe her policies (beyond the pursuit of power, that is) will come fully into visibility after a September election is or isn't declared legal.
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JongWK
post Aug 22 2005, 02:17 PM
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There's no joke about the politician itself, only that it seems that I can actually understand German of late.
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Talia Invierno
post Aug 22 2005, 02:31 PM
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How many languages will that make for you? Three, for sure ...?
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Cochise
post Aug 22 2005, 02:48 PM
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QUOTE (JongWK)
There's no joke about the politician itself, only that it seems that I can actually understand German of late.

Let's pretend that I haven't said anything and that I hereby congratulate for at least partially mastering our rather difficult language on the reading level ...
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the_dunner
post Aug 22 2005, 03:07 PM
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QUOTE (JongWK)
Clarification: Is drain Charisma/Logic + Magic, or Charisma/Logic + Willpower?

EDIT: Maybe I'm confusing things, and conjuring drain is resisted different than spellcasting?

Drain is always Willpower+Tradition specific attribute.
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