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> Open source mechanics (SR4R/SR5), A list of what we want
El Ojitos
post Aug 26 2005, 02:27 PM
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In the SR4 forum a few people came up with the idea to develop open source rule mechanics for use with SR.
I wonder if we could find agreement on what we would want from an ideal SR ruleset. So I've collected a few ideas.

New rules should deliver dice mechanics that reflect
- a well balanced influence of talent (attribute) and learning/training (skill) on the probability of sucess (unlike in SR4)
- diminishing returns for higher ability (unlike in SR4)
- possibility of sheer dumb luck successes
- higher ability must mean better chances in every situation (unlike in SR3)
- a possibility for char developement
- a realistic limit to char developement (unlike in SR3)

Further wishes:
- same base mechanics schuld be applicable in pretty much all contexts and situations
- general SR feel should remain. i.e. rolling numerous d6s.
- roughly equal benefits achievable through magic or technological augmentation at roughly equal costs - at least in key areas like athletics, combat and initiative
- flexibility for use with different playing styles

I'm sure there's much to be added to this list. Please do so!
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Spookymonster
post Aug 26 2005, 03:01 PM
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You might want to check out the SR3R (Shadowrun 3rd Edition - Revised) thread Kagetenshi started up a while ago.
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Triggerz
post Aug 26 2005, 11:36 PM
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Your list is pretty much mine as well. As Spookymonster mentioned, Kage has started SR3-Rev, which I checked out a bit. I haven't had time to read all the threads though. Anyways, I like most of what I've heard about SR4, but there are a few critical problems that need to be addressed. Chargen and character advancement are relatively easy to fix. However, modifiers are something else.

QUOTE

an olympic rifleman in SR4 would have attribute 6, skill 6 (maybe 7), and specialization, for a grand total of 14 dice. -3 for range is 11 dice, and -8 (or is it -4? i don't recall) for total darkness. that leaves him with 3 dice, which means that statistically, he's going to hit the target every single shot. go find me an olympic rifleman who can hit a target at extreme range in the pitch black. what's that? you can't? whoah!
mfb

There most probably are ways to fix this problem, but I'll need to think about it some more, and I suspect the solutions to be somewhat dependant on what the circumstances are, i.e. what it is that you really need to succeed. In the above example, how would you even know that there is something to shoot at if you can't see anything and the thing is at long range? How far is long range for a rifle? 301 to 700 meters for a sniper in SR3... Let's say you heard the guy yell in the distance and have a general idea of his location because of it. A 78% chance of hitting the guy - if he doesn't know you're shooting at him, he can't dodge, right? - seems much too high.

We need a mechanic that allows for slim chances of success out of sheer luck, as you said, and slightly better chances of success for people with higher skill, but we need to avoid the type of situation mentioned above.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by diminishing returns on skill though. I think there are circumstances where there is increasing returns, other with constant returns and yet others with diminishing returns. Hmmm... I don't know enough about the particulars of SR4 yet to see how it does on this point.
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El Ojitos
post Aug 27 2005, 11:17 PM
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QUOTE
There most probably are ways to fix this problem, but I'll need to think about it some more, and I suspect the solutions to be somewhat dependant on what the circumstances are, i.e. what it is that you really need to succeed. In the above example, how would you even know that there is something to shoot at if you can't see anything and the thing is at long range? How far is long range for a rifle? 301 to 700 meters for a sniper in SR3... Let's say you heard the guy yell in the distance and have a general idea of his location because of it. A 78% chance of hitting the guy - if he doesn't know you're shooting at him, he can't dodge, right? - seems much too high.

We need a mechanic that allows for slim chances of success out of sheer luck, as you said, and slightly better chances of success for people with higher skill, but we need to avoid the type of situation mentioned above.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by diminishing returns on skill though. I think there are circumstances where there is increasing returns, other with constant returns and yet others with diminishing returns. Hmmm... I don't know enough about the particulars of SR4 yet to see how it does on this point.


I'm with you 100% on the shot-in-the dark thing. I wonder why they ever put a modifyer for blind fire inro SR (3 as well as 4). As a GM I would only allow that shot if the attacker has a good chance of guessing where the opponent is because he saw him run behind a wall for cover or can hear him talking behind a door. A yell in the distance is not enough information to know where to aim a gun unless you are a bat.

What I meant with diminishing returns has something to do with that problem (the term is borrowed from Ellery IIRC). It means that as you get better i.e. your dice pool becomes bigger, you will feel the benefit from each additional die less and less. In SR3 that means for a TN of 3 your chance of success will go up 25% if you have 1 die and add another one. If you have 10 dice, the eleventh will not get you 25% nearer to your goal but more like 0.05%. Each additional die will improve your chances but by a smaller and smaller fraction. That way you can never reach a 100% chance.
In a d20 system getting better and better at something will eventually accumulate enough boni so that you can attempt certain things with impunity because they just can't go wrong. Every point increases your chance by exactly 5% - even up to 100%.
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Aku
post Aug 27 2005, 11:26 PM
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acttualy,t hats not true, even in D20, you will ALWAYS have a 5% chance of failure, by rolling a natural 1
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Knarfy
post Aug 29 2005, 09:15 AM
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Not on skill checks. Natural 1's and 20's mean nothing special to skill checks, only on attack rolls and saves do they make a difference.
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Oracle
post Aug 29 2005, 12:43 PM
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QUOTE (El Ojitos)
I wonder why they ever put a modifyer for blind fire inro SR (3 as well as 4). As a GM I would only allow that shot if the attacker has a good chance of guessing where the opponent is because he saw him run behind a wall for cover or can hear him talking behind a door.

I think the modifier is exactly for such "good chance of guessing" situations.
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Aku
post Aug 29 2005, 12:56 PM
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hmmm, i thought otherwise for some reasoin, but dont have my books to check it, and since my d20-f is weak to begin with, i'll just say ou know better and accept it...
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phelious fogg
post Aug 29 2005, 06:33 PM
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You already have diminishing returns on the Karma spent, after a point it donest help to be spending 30 karma for just a 1/3 of a hit on a particular test.
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Hat
post Sep 14 2005, 11:05 PM
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I haven't seen SR4 yet, so apologies if my suggestion is way out of line, but based on discussions, what about adding a mechanic which is basically effective maximum effect is modified by the total penalties?

So say for the absolute darkness of -8 perhaps it's a max cap of penalty/2 or -4 dice off of the max, minimum 1 die. This allows for anyone to have the pure luck chance of a single die, but not regularly making the shot.

Another option is to say that after a certain level of penalties, 1s explode down. Rather than just taking away the high die for each one, roll them again and if you roll a second 1, take away another die.

Just brainstorming.

With a sweep of his...

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Kagetenshi
post Sep 15 2005, 01:35 AM
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QUOTE (phelious fogg)
You already have diminishing returns on the Karma spent, after a point it donest help to be spending 30 karma for just a 1/3 of a hit on a particular test.

It's another point of negative modifiers that can be ignored. Already it's possible to build people who can shrug off massive wounds and total darkness, for example. A few more levels and you can be tap-dancing on top of it all.

~J
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 15 2005, 01:27 PM
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QUOTE (El Ojitos)
In the SR4 forum a few people came up with the idea to develop open source rule mechanics for use with SR.
I wonder if we could find agreement on what we would want from an ideal SR ruleset. So I've collected a few ideas.

New rules should deliver dice mechanics that reflect
- a well balanced influence of talent (attribute) and learning/training (skill) on the probability of sucess (unlike in SR4)

I'd disagree with you on that point but thats me. My views on the subject have been tossed down for thinking abstractly and not just completely at the numbers.

QUOTE
- diminishing returns for higher ability (unlike in SR4)


Eh...I think its prety much there but once again my view relies on abstract thought.

QUOTE
- possibility of sheer dumb luck successes


Yup thats in sr4 with longshot tests and edge.

QUOTE
- higher ability must mean better chances in every situation (unlike in SR3)


well the horribly flawed example from the next guy that you agree'd with would certainly show thats possible in sr4.

QUOTE
- a possibility for char developement


Well I honestly am not sure what you mean by that.

QUOTE
- a realistic limit to char developement (unlike in SR3)


Assuming you're meaning stat wise, I'd prety much say its there in sr4 ut then again i think theres more to character development than just you know writing stats on a piece of paper. Oh wait, sorry thinking abstractly again.

QUOTE
Further wishes:
- same base mechanics schuld be applicable in pretty much all contexts and situations


Its there in sr4.

QUOTE
- general SR feel should remain. i.e. rolling numerous d6s.


There in sr4,3,2 and 1

QUOTE
- roughly equal benefits achievable through magic or technological augmentation at roughly equal costs - at least in key areas like athletics, combat and initiative


That I don't completely agree with. Here's why. If you make adepts just like sammies without technology, then realy whats the difference? Yes I think theres should be a little more ballance, but making them the same is not a good solution. Each path should have its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.

QUOTE
- flexibility for use with different playing styles


Such as? To me theres plenty of different ways you can use the sr4 system as is to acomidate a wealth of different playing styles. From the guy who wants to play the burned out mage, or up and coming mage. To the guy who wants to play detective. To even the guy who wants to play the grizzled combat vet (yeah i know some of you don't think that thats possible).

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Kagetenshi
post Sep 15 2005, 07:35 PM
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"Abstract thought" is not a defense for lack of evidence or reasoning. Perhaps if you presented your arguments rather than passing them off as too deep for us mere mortals to understand?

~J
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Shadow_Prophet
post Sep 16 2005, 03:06 AM
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QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
"Abstract thought" is not a defense for lack of evidence or reasoning. Perhaps if you presented your arguments rather than passing them off as too deep for us mere mortals to understand?

~J

Passed them off many times. Got yelled at that it gives the GM power, and thats apparently a bad thing. My ideas involve actualy roleplaying.

Such as the difference with skill and attribute costs and the benefits and whatnot. Training times, justification Higher something gets, more time that you need to train.

Or lets even just think of what skills mean. Skills are a measure of how much you know in a subject. Just because you have the same dice pool does not mean you are equal. Such as Logic 4 computers 1 vs Logic 2 computers 3. Same dice pool. And so far 99% of the people here have argued that they can do the exact same thing.

Attributes represent natural tallent. Skills measure experiance and practical knowledge. Tallent is no replacement for actual knowledge. I'd argue that the person with computers 3 could do a few things and know a few more things than the guy with computers 1 but logic 4. But the response I got from the majority of people is that thats bad GMing because they have the same dice pool. I shouldn't give someone the advantage of practical knowledge and such.


As for character development, roleplaying. What is a character? Is he just numbers on a page? Which seems to be the popular thought here. Or is he more. Same with NPC's. I've learned alot from my friend who's my exalted GM by being his player. NPC's aren't just nameless faceless cardboard cutouts. NPC's have lives, motivations, goals. Especialy antagonists. PC development isn't just raising skills, it isn't just adding numbers on the page. Its also growing that resentment towards trolls, or that thirst for revenge against the guy who's been screwing them outa nuyen.


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