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Cynic project
I am not saying remove hard caps..I just want to know why so low?And do people like them at this level?
Cynic project
For those who said yes, why? Magic can be raised above 6,and I don't see people bating an eye. Is it because that is how the rules were made, or is there any reason to it?

So those who said yes, would you mind magic being capd at 6 as well?
PlatonicPimp
Ah, I see you were hoping that we would vindicate your stance.

The reason I like the Hard cap is because it doesn't make sense that the body can grow endlessly in power. There is a limit to how strong you can get, simple as that. you will never be able to lift a 747. There is a limit to how flexible. You will never be able to tie your arm in a sheepshank.

Mentally, there is also a limit. You will never be able to do math as fast as a computer, never be so good at guessing as to seem psychic, never be so willfull as to resist torture indefinately and so charismatic as to charm a bus of nuns into having sex with you on the spot.

I also beleive you can only be so lucky, so edge is good too.

magic, on the other hand, breaks the rules. Thats what it does. All those things I just described ARE possible with Magic. Insanely powerful magic is the stuff of legends, and it should be let to run wild.

Now that said, I'm not so happy with the cap on skills. But attributes, especially with the way the are mechanically, caps are good.
Jaid
this isn't a vote for whether you approve of hard caps or not.

it's a vote for whether you think the hard caps should be different from the chargen caps.
Coyote_Moya
I believe in hard caps, but I do not believe in these caps limiting augmentation in any way. Half again racial maximum for natural stats has always existed.
stevebugge
Absolutely, if the caps were any higher I'd need a bigger table to accomodate all the flying dice biggrin.gif

Really I do actually like the caps, if I wanted unstoppable superhuman characters and enemies I'd play a superhero game. I like the characaters very good at what they do, but still limited.
mfb
i think that using the same progression for both chargen and character advancement is bad for several reasons. for one thing, it devalues the upper limits of character advancement--if a starting character can be just as good at one thing as someone who has spent an entire career advancing that same thing, being "the best in the world" suddenly becomes commonplace. for another, it buries the gaming portion of the roleplaying game experience; your character can't advance in his specialty, which takes away a lot of the impetus for improvement, which takes away a lot of the fun of playing the game. few people play games just for the sake of playing them; on some level, most people prefer to feel they've won something, or at least could have won something.
Chandon
I actually prefer the idea of having the starting caps be lower. It would make a lot of sense to not allow 6's for skills and attributes of starting characters, and to not allow the positive qualities that let players advance to 7 at chargen.

One of the things that keeps RPGs fun is character advancement, and if you can start at the cap (or even just under the cap) then that takes away most of the effect of character advancement.

Allowing characters to advance beyond ratings of 7 is an option I like much less. Basically, the only difference between the two options is how many dice a player throws for the average test - and I see absolutely no advantage to that number being higher rather than lower.

On the other hand, more advancement is good so it might be worth making some very expensive way to get a "higher skill" in addition to lowering the starting maximum.

The next time I run a game, I may use the following house rules:
- Characters may not start with a rating of 6 in skills, or a racial maximum rating in attributes.
- Edges that increase the starting maximum for skills or attributes may not be taken at character generation.
- The following positive quality is available to waste karma for mundane characters:

== Positive Quality: Mundane Mastery (20 points, i.e. 40 karma)
This quality may be taken only by characters with no magic or resonance attributes. Select a skill group - you must have all the skills in the group at a rating of at least 4, and one skill in the group must have a rating of 7. When you make a test with a skill in that skill group you may add an extra die to the dice pool. This quality may be taken up to two times, and must apply to the same skill group both times.
Sphynx
Not all of us want to play newbie-runners. I want my character(s) to have had experience in the shadows, to be aged, in my 'prime', so I want access to my 'cap' at generation. And for realism, around 25 to 30 is a person's prime in both physical and mental growth. After that, your growth is in skills...

Sphynx
mfb
room for advancement doesn't necessarily mean playing a newbie. and i, at least, wasn't limiting the discussion of caps to attributes--skills have caps, too, in SR4.
Critias
Attribute caps? Fine. There's limits, essentially, to the raw speed, power, and sometimes even stamina of the (meta)human body.

Skill caps? Poof. Get rid of 'em. Period. Cap at 5 or 6 at creation, sure, for "game balance" and "room to grow" and whatever; but other than that, leave 'em alone. The sky should be the limit, once the characters are up and (shadow)running, raking in karma. Let 'em grow as much as they want to -- some people are just crazy good at stuff.
Chandon
I don't think it's reasonable for a starting Shadowrun team to consist of 4 deckers who are all as skilled as Fastjack - and that's what the current rules of "You can start with 7 & 7 and those are the absolute caps" are implying.

I'd like to see at least two, but more would be good too, different gradiations of skill between a high end starting character who might be "one of the top five in Seattle" and "Actually the best in the world".

By the SR4 rules there are 7 possible levels of skill: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. The way that seems to break down based on actual characters I've seen generated is 3 levels of "poor", two levels of "good", one level of "very good", and a level of "exceptional". I think there's more value to differentiating between different levels of "exceptional" than there is to differentiating between different levels of "poor".

Back to well known deckers, I'd say that all of the following people are "exceptional" deckers and that they all have different levels of skill - different levels that are likely greater than where a starting character should be: Faskjack, Jane-in-the-box, The Smiling Bandit, Slammo!
hyzmarca
I'm going to make a completly irrevelant comparason to illustrate a point. A plain jane whitebread human gun adept build in SR3 VS an unarmored "average" human compared to a maxed out gun adept in SR4 s the same unarmored human. Both adepts wield Predators without any targeting aids and conditions are ideal resulting in no modifiers for either adept.

The fresh SR3 adept has the cliche Pistols 6, IA:Pistols 6. He rolls his 12 dice against a TN of 4 and averages 6 successes. Mr. Average dodges with his megar 3 CP and averages 1 success. With 5 net successes the Adept causes a deadly wound. Mr. Average rolls with 3 body dice and gets 0 successes. He dies.


The SR 4 Adept had hit the augmented cap in both agility and pistols, rolling 20 dice. He averages 6 successes. Mr. Average rolls a megar 2 dice since he doesn't know how to dodge gunfire. He averages 0 successes. 5P + 6 is 11P. Mr Average rolls his 3 body dice and averages 1 success, droping it down to 10P. He still has one box left.

So there you have it folks, the best gunman in the Shadowrun 4 world cannot reliably kill a pantspissing wageslave without a smartlink. Against skilled armored enemies, it becomes even more of a crapshoot, as it were.

Of course, the above assumes that the augmented cap applied to IA dice which I don't believe is the case, unless there has been errata on it. If not, it just tosses mundanes rear first into the metaphorical gay troll bar.


A quirk of the new damage system combined with the fixed 1/3 probability means that you need fragging huge dice pools to be reliable in combat. At least, that's how it works out on paper. In order to stack the odds in your favor you have two add at least 3 dice for every extra point of damage you wish to cause. This isn't really possible. The only other alternative is to reduce your oppenents pool. This is generally effective against enemies with small pools, but less effective against ones with hugepools.

Kerberos
Well if you define reliable, as being able to kill in one shot with a peashoter then yes.
Critias
Yeah. 'Cause "peashooter" is what everyone thinks, when someone mentions an Ares Predator.
fistandantilus4.0
An Ares Predator, being the SR equivelant of the Desert Eagle, is hardly a pea shooter. And yes, you should be able to kill someone with one gun shot, even from a 'pea shooter' of a light pistol, much less a heavy.

As for my opinion, attribute caps make just as much sense as they did before. But I like htem more like they were in SR 3 , where if you pump enough in to them, they can go higher. Real world example, those sary body builders. Are you going to tell me that everyone with a 6 str is like those monsters? no, I didn't think so.

As for skill caps, Idon't believe in them. I charge more after 6 to keep them more in the scale of the game (x3 instead of x2) but what the @#$@ is the point of trying to be 'the best of the best; of something if you start out there and can never advance!? And simply saying that yhe most you can start wit his 4 in a skill to coutner that is just silly. Just as a psychological POV, if you want to feel that you're character really has some punch, you're probably going to want to throw more than a small handful of dice. Anyone that's ever done a D&D 20D fireball is going to balk at being a bad-a with 12 dice for "Best of the Best" anything.
Ophis
ermm Hyzmarca the normal human has ten boxes of damage so in your examle is unconscious the formula is 8+half body rounding up. half of 3 is therefore 2 which when added to 8 is 10 not 11 as you postulate. Your gun bunny is about as effective.

I think that the absolute cap should be in but be a higher, maybe ten or twelve, probably with a rebuyable quality to allow it or requiring some sort of essence up keep to represent honing the skill.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Mr. Average rolls with 3 body dice and gets 0 successes. He dies.

..after filling his overflow boxes, yes.

QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Mr Average rolls his 3 body dice and averages 1 success, droping it down to 10P. He still has one box left.

As Mr. Average only has 10 Boxes, he dies... after filling his overflow boxes.

Bottom line: both cases result in Mr. Average bleeding to death.
Big difference, huh?


Hard caps are nice for comparison, as seen by grading systems.
The creation system is too limited, even with the possibility of going to the max in skills and attributes - when it comes to gear, the system is not able to sustain the flexibility for high-level like it should be.
hyzmarca
Exceuse me, I misread the condition moniter table. That's what I get for looking at the table but ignoring the text.

Rotbart van Dainig, the big difference is that a begining character who is dedicated to pistol combat in the world can perform the latter with reliability in SR3 with a small margin for error and The best pistol shooter in the world can perform the latter reliably with no margin for error. If Mr. Average has just one point of dodge or a related skill (I don't see why this wageslave should but others characters certainly will) then he'll have a box left.
Rotbart van Dainig
Just in SR3, there's a fair chance he miserably fails in shooting someone in the leg.
grinbig.gif
hyzmarca
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jan 12 2006, 08:18 AM)
Just in SR3, there's a fair chance he miserably fails in shooting someone in the leg.
grinbig.gif

But called shots are a small part of the overall combat system and it illustrates my other point. One can stack the deck in their favor by manipulating TNs in SR3. In SR4, doing the same requires manipulating dice pools, which is far less reliable. Positive dice pool modifiers don't provide a significant number of hits unles they are very large while negative dice pool modifiers are most effective against characters with small pools. In many opposed tests, characters will be rolling a similar number of dice and thus have similar hit probabilities, generally increasing the randomness of the game. Removing skill caps and encouraging characters to specialize can alieviate the latter problem by increasing the general hit probability for the character's a speciality. Unfortuanrtly, I'm, not so sure how the latter solution will work on the former problem. One would have to greatly increase pool modifiers (and possibly thresholds) to compensate.

All in all, I'm certainly in favor of the greater level of granularity that higher caps (and thus more significant gaps) would provide.
Critias
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jan 12 2006, 08:03 AM)
Bottom line: both cases result in Mr. Average bleeding to death.
Big difference, huh?

Wow. So a starting SR3 character and the single greatest combat pistol shooter that will ever be in SR4 are neck and neck. Yeah. You convinced me. Skill caps rule!
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (hyzmarca @ Jan 12 2006, 03:42 PM)
But called shots are a small part of the overall combat system and it illustrates my other point.

Trick shots are a small part of the combat system because they got nerfed - but trick shots is what world class is all about.

Your point is that you miss one-hit-kills.
That is valid, but neither necessarily realistic nor favorable for everyone.

QUOTE (Critias)
You convinced me.

No problem. It is not that hard to see that SR4 is less open to min-maxing.
hyzmarca
It isn't that I miss one hit kills so much as that I prefer to think stratigly and set my character up for success rather than just randomly rolling dice and hope they come up right. The lack of one hit kills was the most dramaic example I could think of a the time, but it probably wasn't the best one for my point. The lack of one-hit-kills is the fault of the linear staging system as much as anything.
It is the effect on the skill cap combined with fixed TNs on opposed test in general that I find most annoying. SR4 characters are encouraged to be generalists and, unless poorly built, should possess both offensive and defensive stats at similar levels. Similar skill levels with fixed TNs and the same thresholds means unpredictible opposed tests. Hell, the example they give in the book is decided purely by luck.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (hyzmarca)
Similar skill levels with fixed TNs and the same thresholds means unpredictible opposed tests.  Hell, the example they give in the book is decided purely by luck.

Less predictable than opposed tests for very different skill levels in SR3, indeed - but most tests of that kind were success contests in SR3 anyway (which were about as unpredictable), and when pitting similar levels against each other in an opposed test, it was justs as unpredictable.

The problem you have is mostly that the old strategies are not the most efficient anymore...
nick012000
Actually, you have to take Called Shots into consideration when comparing them.

That adept is almost certainly going to take a Called Shot for +4 DV, and a specialization in Semiautomatics. That way, he rolls 7+2+3+7-4=15 dice, 5 hits.

The wageslave will score .66 hits on his dodge test, and 1 hit on his soak test. The wageslave would then take 5+4+4=13 boxes of damage. Plenty of room for error.
Darkness
I' going back to the example mentioned above, but i add a variable: this time the attacker is running.

In SR3 the target number goes up to 8 for the attacker while staying 4 for the defender. So we have a 12d6(8 ) roll vs. 3d6(4) ComPool. The attacker hits with 39.04%, averaging about 1 nettohit. Since the Defender can't soak this, M-Damage is dealt.

In SR4 the attacker looses 2 dice, so we have a 18 vs. 3 (reaction) dice situation: The Attacker hits with 98,58% doing on average 5 nettohits. Defender soaks on average with 1 hit. Defender takes 9 damage.

While in a static situation both are about the same, the SR4 top shooter still gets a very good shot at his target while the SR3 one doesnt.

Firing at 3 different targets in 3 different actions, Mr. SR3 will hit about 1 with an average of M Damage and Mr. SR4 will hit 3 with an average of 9 damage each.

In SR3 World Class Level was labeled as a skill of 8+ (SR3 p.99). Even with 8 Combat Pool he has then 16 dice. Doing the same comparison (16d6(8 ) vs. 3d6(4)) he hits only with 53.27%, averaging on 1 Nettohit.
To achive the same accuracy as Mr.SR4 he has to use way more dice.
Even if he would happen to get 26 dice Mr. SR3 only hits with 78.98%. Averaging on 2 Nettohits before soak. Now he's starting to get close to MR. SR4.

To me those 20 dice under SR4 are more worth than a Skill at Level 20 under SR3.
But YMMV.
Azralon
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig @ Jan 12 2006, 10:06 AM)
Your point is that you miss one-hit-kills.
That is valid, but neither necessarily realistic nor favorable for everyone.

Bad news: It takes some noticeable effort and/or luck to one-shot NPCs now.

Good news: It takes some noticeable effort and/or luck to be one-shot by NPCs now.
mfb
i don't see that as a good thing, Azralon. SR's potential for lethality has always been one of its big draws, to me.

QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
It is not that hard to see that SR4 is less open to min-maxing.

it's less open, period. talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Azralon @ Jan 12 2006, 03:51 PM)
Good news: It takes some noticeable effort and/or luck to be one-shot by NPCs now.

I don't consider this good news. I consider this very bad news. This leads to complacency. I like the fear of a single bullet. The feeling of, "oh, if I get shot it'll suck but I won't die from it" is way too D&D and not very SR.
Azralon
Ah, but D&D doesn't have injury modifiers.

Shadowrun features pain and other inconveniences that will help the second bullet kill you even quicker.
Moon-Hawk
sarcastic.gif I agree. SR4 is not the exact same thing as D&D. All I'm saying is that a general decrease in lethality is a bad move.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
it's less open, period.

Considering skills and attributes.
When it comes to anything concerning magic or gear, it is much more flexible without worrying about micromanagement.

QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
I like the fear of a single bullet.

Holdouts and assault rifles are much scarier in SR4 than they were in SR3...
mfb
everyone has skills and attributes, Rotbart. not everybody has magic and/or tech, though many do.
Azralon
I'm completely with y'all on the appeal of a hardcore game. Things simply get more exciting when consequences start getting more significant and more permanent. It forces you to play smarter, and I for one utterly love that.

But, at the same time, I do want to give both the PCs and NPCs a chance to do something after the first initiative pass goes by. It's really unsatisfying from an "entertaining game" standpoint when your foes win initiative and vaporize a player character before anyone gets a chance to do anything.

SR4 still holds that possibility; it just doesn't come up near as often as it used to, and I'm okay with that. I also like it when my NPCs get at least one shot at looking cool before the team alpha-strikes them.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
I like the fear of a single bullet.

Holdouts and assault rifles are much scarier in SR4 than they were in SR3...

That's true. I really like that about SR4.
They made hold-outs and assault rifles more deadly in relation to everything else. This is good. They seem to have made everything less deadly in relation to SR3. This, I don't like so much.
But maybe it's still deadly enough; I haven't played enough to know.
Darkness
Funny thing is, that for me it seems like the lethality has actually increased.

Most of the time, most of my players bought enough armor and other stuff in SR3, that the "combat type Runners" were rarely wounded.

This has changed somewhat. Even a very strong armor doesn't protect you from getting hurt. Even if it is "only" stun damage, you still get hurt most of the time.

They're even regarding someone with a Light Pistol as threat nowadays.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
everyone has skills and attributes, Rotbart. not everybody has magic and/or tech, though many do.

Sure.
Just there was no reliable grading in skills and attributes on the long term.
Neither was there a system supporting doing something creative with those.

So, in the end, those open skills and attributes didn't get you too far after the RAW... you were running into limits of possibilites, which is worse.

QUOTE (Moon-Hawk)
But maybe it's still deadly enough; I haven't played enough to know.

It is.
Now even tank orcs have to consider taking a bullet - it won't kill them, but it'll hurt.
BishopMcQ
I like the hard caps for unaugmented people. I use the term augmentation to address either tech or magical augmentation. I think there is a limit to how good a human can become, our "evolution/intelligent design" has only gone so far.

With the introduction of future-tech and magic, those rules can be bent and broken. I understand the reason for the caps from a game balance PoV but dislike having to say that's the way it is for game balance except for these things here.
mfb
...huh? i hope you're not talking about SR3, Rotbart. the discussion, here, is about SR4.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
i hope you're not talking about SR3, Rotbart. the discussion, here, is about SR4.

Which, as any technical discussion, includes references concerning comparison, too.
So, as in a matter of fact I do since those comparative points were arisen, you may save your hope.

On the matter at hand, allowing starting characters to reach the final stage in skills and attributes is only half the way - any really flexible generation system should allow advanced abilities and gear, too.
mfb
i really don't understand what you're talking about.
Mr. Unpronounceable
QUOTE (Jaid)
this isn't a vote for whether you approve of hard caps or not.

it's a vote for whether you think the hard caps should be different from the chargen caps.

The hard caps are different from the chargen caps - you're not limited to 200 bp of attributes, you're not limited to only one skill at 6 or two at 5 or skill groups at 4, you're not limited to availability 12, you're not limited to 250K , ad nauseum.

In fact, it's actually difficult to hit more than one or two of the actual hard caps at character creation without severely handicapping the character.
mfb
the hard caps on individual attributes and skills are the same for advancement as in chargen. the question is not whether or not a character can expand his expertise in areas besides his forte, the question is whether or not a character can advance in his forte. in SR4, he cannot, unless he purposefully limits himself at chargen.
Azralon
If people want balanced characters, SR4 encourages it.

If people want min/maxed characters, SR4 allows it.

If min/maxers feel constrained by actually having a "max," they can negotiate something with their GMs.

I don't see the problem.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
i really don't understand what you're talking about.

So? indifferent.gif

QUOTE (Mr. Unpronounceable)
The hard caps are different from the chargen caps

As pointed out by mfb, those are limits of distribution, not real caps.
Of course, such limits are better referred to as guidelines.

QUOTE (mfb)
in SR4, he cannot, unless he purposefully limits himself at chargen.

True... it's been a real pleasure to see all those background stories for SR4 Characters that would have won olympic shooting contests if they didn't had that horrible accident...

QUOTE (Azralon)
I don't see the problem.

The problem seems to be the explicit grading system that leaves fewer room for excuses. wink.gif
mfb
the problem is right there in your third sentence. SR4 doesn't support people who like gaming, only people who use the mechanics as a loose framework for their story. there's nothing wrong with using the mechanics like that, but it kinda sucks to be you if you're into the actual game.

QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
True... it's been a real pleasure to see all those background stories for SR4 Characters that would have won olympic shooting contests if they didn't had that horrible accident...

are you some kind of martian?
Ryu
Nice for the sake of argument as that may be, a characters forte can hardly be measured by advancement in a single skill. Invalid. Even people who play the numbers game have ample room for growth.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
SR4 doesn't support people who like gaming

As SR4 combat rules directly support even table top combat, that is quite a bold statement.

QUOTE (mfb)
are you some kind of martian?

Oh, no. Check your atlas for Europe. wink.gif
mfb
only outward, never upward.

QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
As SR4 combat rules directly support even table top combat, that is quite a bold statement.

no. they support a loose approximation of combat on the tabletop. every test, the GM is required to fudge in favor of what he thinks is appropriate. that's not a game system, that's a set of reference notes.
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