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James McMurray
QUOTE
i've played a hell of a lot of D&D, both 3e and 3.5e, and i've never had any problem with mages overusing magic missile. it's way too easy to stop them, and the spell damage is hilariously low anyway. oh noes, the mage is hitting the monsters with 1d4+1 damage! they're in trouble now!


Who said anything about magic missile being overpowered? I said it's overused, because it's better at what it does than the other first level spells. But thank you for misinterpreting my post and bringing amusement to my heart because of it.

QUOTE
i don't want to have to take personal control of every single die roll everyone makes


Who said anything about taking control of every die roll everyone makes? I think you might be getting a little confused.

SL James: At some point, without a group that works incredibly well together, something will come up that destroys the campaign. At that point you can say "you can't do that" or you can say "great, a loophole destroyed all of our hard work." I prefer the former, but I somehow doubt that either option means you've got to hang up your GM hat.
James McMurray
No, his position is "SR3 bad, SR4 bad." Which even more raises the question of what he's doing in an SR forum.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
i'm talking about SR3 page 212, last three paragraphs under Host/Grid Reset.

Interesting - that's a bit different from Matrix p. 110.
Azralon
QUOTE (mfb)
my position is not "SR3 good, SR4 bad",


I do beg your pardon. The past few months of your posts somehow gave me the wrong idea about that.

QUOTE (mfb)
you're not paying attention.


What a great idea! Good day.
mfb
QUOTE (James McMurray)
Who said anything about magic missile being overpowered? I said it's overused, because it's better at what it does than the other first level spells. But thank you for misinterpreting my post and bringing amusement to my heart because of it.

if it's not overpowered, then it's not germaine to the discussion, because we're talking about things which are overpowered. what the heck are you talking about, and when did you get confused?

QUOTE (James McMurray[/quote)
Who said anything about taking control of every die roll everyone makes?

i said it.

QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
Interesting - that's a bit different from Matrix p. 110.
yep. never got an answer out of FanPro about how it all works, either. best i can tell, you use both rules.

don't go away angry, Azralon...
Synner
QUOTE (mfb)
actually, if the agents all have Stealth 6, there's a good chance several of them will be able to accomplish their task if they probe Z-O, given that the host only gets one shot at detecting a probing hacker/agent.


Correction - every node in the tiered security access chain has a chance to detect them. Granted only the highest of high security systems would have an extensive gateway system but.

I won't even get into how fast the system would come down on you (or simply shut down) if all those "individual" agents tried to access with the same account.

QUOTE
as for teamwork rules, the book uses that same language to describe success tests, opposed tests, and extended tests. by your logic, agents can't make any tests at all. show me where teamwork tests are disallowed from hacking attempts.

Exactly what an agent can or cannot do will be described in Unwired as will its limitations and advantages. There will be further clarifications on how subscription and accounts work and more importantly how corporate systems protect themselves beyond the basics described in SR4. I don't think it's stepping out of bounds to say that if a teamwork option is allowed it will only be with agents running on through the same commlink as the hacker (due to node subscription and access issues) and will be limited to those currently subscribed (due to the interaction necessary to properly cooperate rather than get in each other's way).

I'm just not sure whether the clarification will be in a FAQ or in Unwired.
mfb
good. at least some of the loopholes are being closed up.
James McMurray
LOL
mfb
i couldn't agree more.

QUOTE (Synner)
Correction - every node in the tiered security access chain has a chance to detect them. Granted only the highest of high security systems would have an extensive gateway system but.

eh. that works, but it just seems like a really roundabout solution. it basically comes down to who has more computers, and it still leaves individual commlinks horribly vulnerable.
SL James
QUOTE (James McMurray)
SL James: At some point, without a group that works incredibly well together, something will come up that destroys the campaign. At that point you can say "you can't do that" or you can say "great, a loophole destroyed all of our hard work." I prefer the former, but I somehow doubt that either option means you've got to hang up your GM hat.

I prefer the latter, but I'm stupid like that, taking responsibility for dealing with loopholes and, you know, GM stuff. "Oh, noes, I got thrown for a loop by a rule!" You know how many times that's happened? Zero. Compared to the numerous times canon setting retconning has screwed up a campaign? Well, that's only happened too many times to count.
Synner
QUOTE (mfb @ Mar 30 2006, 09:39 PM)
good. at least some of the loopholes are being closed up.

There's a huge distinction between a "loophole" that exists because the existing rules didn't have space to cover everything in sufficient in the one published rulebook and a loophole created by a massive design flaw and inconsistency. unfortunately some people don't seem to know the difference.

I don't bother to say this very often, because I think it should be obvious at this point, but here goes:

SR4 is here to stay. FanPro fully intends to support the new edition of the game well into the future and has no intention of revising or modifying the core rules (beyond necessary errata and eventual clarifications in the planned SR4 FAQ). FanPro already has a production schedule full of SR4 goodies for the next couple of years and then some. The 4 core rule supplements will attempt to address and expand on as many of the outstanding issues left by the SR4 corebook as possible, and will attempt to do so in the most streamlined and efficient manner. FanPro and Shadowrun has no intention of returning to the SR3 system. Period. If SR4 isn't your cup of tea nobody will stop you from playing SR3 or from updating it to continue using it with the new setting material. If you're interested in helping SR4 be the game it can be constructive criticism as well as any useful and intelligent suggestions are always appreciated and will continue to be taken into account. Raging about how your favorite game has now been ruined and nitpicking about apparent flaws will accomplish absolutely nothing.
mfb
i'm quite cognizant of the difference, Synner. the Million Agent March isn't one of them, agreed, but there are big problems with SR4, re: flexibility and probability.

i don't particularly care if FanPro fixes those problems. i'm not advocating they go back to SR3. nor am i 'raging' about how my favorite game is ruined. i'm really not sure what anything in your second paragraph has to do with anybody here, honestly.
James McMurray
QUOTE
i'm really not sure what anything in your second paragraph has to do with anybody here, honestly.


Then perhaps you haven't been reading as deeply as you think you have?
mfb
other way around. i think Synner is reading things into posts by Ca[i]n and i that aren't there.
James McMurray
Who mentioned Cain?
mfb
heh. due to my misspelling, nobody--not even me. not that it has anything to do with anything, except as a really poor attempt at baiting. unless there's more to be discussed, seeya.
James McMurray
Bye (and I don't make poor attempts at baiting, I make points that people think are baiting) wink.gif
Synner
QUOTE (mfb @ Mar 30 2006, 10:15 PM)
i'm quite cognizant of the difference, Synner. the Million Agent March isn't one of them, agreed, but there are big problems with SR4, re: flexibility and probability.

Again, I'll agree to disagree. I've been GMing it every week for almost a year now. 5-6 hour sessions, adventures (On the Run as a typical example) spread over 3 sessions on average, karma pay-offs of 6-7 per adventure and a group of 4 PCs - the tweaked out ork samurai I mentioned in another thread, a mage that has been known to spellcast with 19 dice pool, an elf hacker/infiltrator and a troll bounty hunter. Some of my players were die hard SR3 fans who hated the idea of changing system, and even they've come round. Though I admit that sitting down and playing SR4 tabletop and seeing how the rules translate to practice was what brought them round.

Nobody has specifically commented on problems with either flexibility and probablity. In fact they've actually welcomed the compression of the ability/results range and the impossibility of certain actions.

Meanwhile they've raked in about 80+ karma and spent it. Only the sam started out with a maxed out Att and nobody has capped off a second attribute to 6, nobody had increased a skill beyond 5, nobody has peaked and nobody cares about the sam being in that top 14% of human performance (though he's started to prove how good he is and its earning him a reputation). What's more the playtesting notes I've had the good fortune to be privy to indicate this is a common experience. Even in games where high-karma characters (300 karma being about the highest my group thought worth testing) were playtested there were few complaints about ease of capping off or lack of development choices (admittedly these groups have access to some of the advanced options that will be available in upcoming sourcebooks).

So no, I don't really see a problem with flexibility and probability, or character development for that matter. Of course things get wonky when GMs hand out 6 karma a session or payout a million for a run (though no more so than they would in SR3) but that's someone already changing the scope of the game.

I will concede that SR4 wasn't designed to port over characters with 800+ karma but that isn't a problem in 99% of games.

QUOTE
i don't particularly care if FanPro fixes those problems. i'm not advocating they go back to SR3. nor am i 'raging' about how my favorite game is ruined. i'm really not sure what anything in your second paragraph has to do with anybody here, honestly.

It definitely wasn't directed at you, it was directed at those who continue to pop up in a dedicated SR4 forum to denounce how bad SR4 must be, how irredeemable its flaws, how impossible to overcome its loopholes are - and hijacking a thread that actually starts with "SR4 in play experience, very pleased Gm and players" to do so.

Unfortunately such people, as happened when SR4 was in development, tend to drown out those people who actually have something constructive to add and want to contribute to productive discussion.
James McMurray
Side note: one of my players' first SR experience was the run where you make a bajillion dollars by flying to Hawaii, which he did with a fresh off the rack character. He freely admits this colored his perception of the game overall, and that it took him a long time to get used to "standard" payouts.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (Synner)
I will concede that SR4 wasn't designed to port over characters with 800+ karma but that isn't a problem in 99% of games.

There are very few system designed to port over characters.
But, even with 750+, it works fairly well in SR4.
mfb
the flexibility i'm talking about is more in regards to styles of play that vary from group to group. in some ways, SR4 is too flexible (as the GM has to use fiat in several commonly-encountered situations), and in others--specifically, probability--it's not flexible enough (higher- and lower-powered games are very difficult to run, since the characters will almost always fail at the low end, and almost always succeed at the high end).

QUOTE (Synner)
Of course things get wonky when GMs hand out 6 karma a session or payout a million for a run (though no more so than they would in SR3) but that's someone already changing the scope of the game.

i disagree. i've had million-nuyen payouts in SR3. yes, it creates issues, and yes, it changes the scope of the campaign--but the game itself was able to handle such changes in scope very easily. the inability of SR4 to handle different scopes is one of the main reasons i dislike it. and the fact that you admit that it can't handle multiple scopes is why i get confused when you say things like "SR4 isn't limited".
James McMurray
Have you run an SR4 game with million nuyen payouts, or is your data only theoretical?
mfb
why get into a game i don't like? i can see, in broad strokes, what would happen. even Synner says the game wasn't meant to handle it. have you ever hacked off your own legs? no? how do you know it hurts?
Synner
QUOTE (James McMurray @ Mar 30 2006, 11:10 PM)
Have you run an SR4 game with million nuyen payouts, or is your data only theoretical?

He has a point. It does undermine arguments when the person making the criticism hasn't experienced the game as it translates from theory to paper. It feels like the person is criticizing on principle and out of pig-headedness, rather than coming back from a game table with a practical and legitimate gripe.

For the record I said "wonky" and not that SR4 was unable to handle it or broke down. The impact of a 1 million pay-off doesn't change much (I'll take Roberts word for the fact that neither does 750 karma) - I meant doing it as anything but an exceptional, highlight of a career event.

And, for the record, the wonkiness isn't far from what I experienced in SR3 when I made the mistake of giving my players the high roller international primerunner game they thought they wanted.

QUOTE
why get into a game i don't like? i can see, in broad strokes, what would happen. even Synner says the game wasn't meant to handle it.

Unfortunately this implies that you don't even consider that playing a new character built within the new system could be a fun experience... and as I've said before in private, that's a pity.
James McMurray
I know it hurts because the effects of nerve endings have been studied for centuries, and the effets of hacking off legs for longer than that. Nice try though.
Rotbart van Dainig
Well, even a payout of 1M per person means that you need two more runs like that just to upgrade your synaptic accelerator 3 from beta to delta. wink.gif
mfb
in the same way, albeit on a slightly smaller timescale, i know why million-nuyen payounts will wonkyize an SR4 game.

though, to be honest, money isn't as big an advancement factor as karma in SR4 or SR3. a good GM in either can make it pretty tough to spend all that money. the real sticker, for me, is the karma payouts. i disagree with Rotbart on the viability of SR4 characters with 750+ karma; at that point, i don't see any way to challenge them.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
i disagree with Rotbart on the viability of SR4 characters with 750+ karma; at that point, i don't see any way to challenge them.

You are free to do so.
Yet, the amusing part is that the character in question started with 500 BP and still relies on skillwires for firearms as there is not yet enough karma for those skills. wink.gif
mfb
do you allow him to perform flawlessly in the face of what should probably be insurmountable odds, or do you fiat it?
James McMurray
How do you challenge 750+ karma characters in SR3? Do the same things to them in SR4: i.e., put them in situations where their huge dice pool don't matter. Make them think instead of roll.

It seems, at least theoretically, that 750+ karma is less powerful in SR4 than it is in SR3, because you're still limited to a 7 skill base.

And of course, do you have any experience with 750+ karma SR4? Apparently he does, so I'll tend to listen to him first.

Note: I've never had a 750+ karma game and never plan to. At some point characters have done all they want or the group just wants to start over (most likely with a different game).
mfb
you can't do the same things in SR4 that you can in SR3. in SR3, if you stack on a few modifiers, even the most powerful character is going to be challenged. in SR4, that's simply not so. i have seen extremely powerful characters--several thousand well-spent karma--challenged. changes in scope that extreme are rare, but a game that can handle such changes is, to me, a more well-constructed game than one that can't.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
do you allow him to perform flawlessly in the face of what should probably be insurmountable odds, or do you fiat it?

Let me phrase it that way:
If he happend to be able 'to perform flawlessly in the face of what should probably be insurmountable odds', I'll tell you first.
James McMurray
You're right. But apparently SR4 can handle 750+ karma characters. At least according to the people who play it, not just naysay it.
Synner
A 750 karma character in SR4 will have dice pools of around 20 max in a couple of skills and others in the 11-16 range. I've seen typical combat modifiers can knock that down by about 8-10 dice, effectively halving the pool. I'd say that's pretty challenging.
mfb
how so, Synner? 10-12 dice, in SR4, is easily enough to get a solid, damaging hit every time you act. i don't consider that challenging at all.
Rotbart van Dainig
Keep your own point in mind, it might clear some confusion:
When it is about min-maxing dice pools, there is a very small difference between a starting character and an experienced one. wink.gif

Basically, high karma characters in SR4 are much more versatile than starting ones.
Only magic still outperformes everyone on the long run. wink.gif
mfb
QUOTE (Rotbart van Dainig)
When it is about min-maxing dice pools, there is nearly no difference between a starting character or an experienced one.

yes. and a well-built starting character, in SR4, is hard to challenge within his specialty.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
and a well-built starting character, in SR4, is hard to challenge within his specialty.

Nah, it's a lot harder not to kill them or make the quit by accident.
mfb
i express doubt. how, exactly, is a well-built character easier to kill? i don't have a lot of experience with making players quit, so i'm not even going to ask about that.
Cain
QUOTE (James McMurray)
Cain: try finding a group that wants to enjoy the game, and doesn't find that enjoyment in finding ways to rape the system. Other than that I just don't know what to tell you. Yes, I find "my group is mature" to be an excellent refutation of teh Z-O problem. That you don't just indicates to me that your group isn't mature enough.

I could very well be wrong, I'm just going on the fact that you seem to be terrified that the instant you start playing SR4 your players will have Incompetence x 7 and take down Z-O with 12.5 build points.[/quote]


I've had quite enough of you trying to insult my players. The fact is, I don't have to GM hammer them at all, since I can do a lot of things through discussion and shared storytelling goals. The fact that the system has fatal flaws stands alone. What I *do* have are players with a healthy dose of skepticism and a liking of believability in my games. I shudder to think of what you must consider to be "mature", if discussion and mutual enjoyment aren't part of it.

You're saying: "The game is perfect, as long as you ignore all the broken bits". Unfortunately, a whole lot of SR4 consists of broken bits. If there's an ubertactic, then the big powers would be using it... which means the players will need to use it as well, if they can. Suddenly, the entire concepts of the game world collapse under the weight of a single ubertactic.

My goal is to help people enjoy Shadowrun. If there's a fatal flaw in the system, it needs to be addressed. However, SR4 has got a lot of fatal flaws, and needs to have some serious rethinking done.

QUOTE
that you dislike it when GMs have to assert authority over what can and cannot happen in a game also points towards your level of player maturity.

Yes-- when you never have to use GM fiat, that indicates a very high level of player maturity. I'm assuming by your posts that you use it constantly?

QUOTE
Exactly what an agent can or cannot do will be described in Unwired as will its limitations and advantages. There will be further clarifications on how subscription and accounts work and more importantly how corporate systems protect themselves beyond the basics described in SR4. I don't think it's stepping out of bounds to say that if a teamwork option is allowed it will only be with agents running on through the same commlink as the hacker (due to node subscription and access issues) and will be limited to those currently subscribed (due to the interaction necessary to properly cooperate rather than get in each other's way).

So you're working to cover up the problem. That's not very encouraging, to me. The real issue, in my mind, happens to be the mechanics that allow the Burly Man brawl: Teamwork tests and multi-commlink usage. I've seen lots of people here post various exploits about using multiple commlinks, and no believeable reason to stop them. The massive Agent Army is just one permutation of that.

The real problems are in the basic operations and assumptions of the game. It appears that no one stopped to consider using multiple commlinks, and it's pretty clear that no one examined exactly how nasty you can get with teamwork tests.

QUOTE
There's a huge distinction between a "loophole" that exists because the existing rules didn't have space to cover everything in sufficient in the one published rulebook and a loophole created by a massive design flaw and inconsistency.

Again: the problem here isn't just an army of Mr. Smiths. The problem lies in teamwork tests themselves, plus the tricks you can pull by using multiple commlinks. Just like the longshot problem requires an alteration to the basic assumption of a fixed TN to correct, the problems are at the root of the system, not the surface details.

The other problems are pretty well connected to the basic assumptions of the game as well. Synner, you yourself pointed out that SR4 is meant to be a closed system. Unfortunately, that means that even if a group of players desires a higher-powered game, they can't just simply lift the caps and be done with it. The entire scope of the game is *based* on those limits. There's simply no stopping people with 30+dice for a test; the mechanics break down at that point. (I might also add that somewhere on this forum, somebody posted an elven face who has 33 dice for Seduction. Legal starting character, too, IIRC.) The basic power levels of the game assume that the best of the best, the most powerful in their fields, will be tossing between 14-18 dice; the die mechanics also still work within this range. However, once you've gone past that, things fall apart... and there are many things in SR4 that can be pushed to that level.
QUOTE
Unfortunately this implies that you don't even consider that playing a new character built within the new system could be a fun experience... and as I've said before in private, that's a pity.

It's probably pointless to remind you that mfb was a playtester as well, and probably started with SR4 at around the same time you did. More than any of us, he can say he gave it a good try, and has honest reasons for his dislike.

QUOTE
How do you challenge 750+ karma characters in SR3? Do the same things to them in SR4: i.e., put them in situations where their huge dice pool don't matter. Make them think instead of roll.

It seems, at least theoretically, that 750+ karma is less powerful in SR4 than it is in SR3, because you're still limited to a 7 skill base.

And of course, do you have any experience with 750+ karma SR4? Apparently he does, so I'll tend to listen to him first.

Note: I've never had a 750+ karma game and never plan to. At some point characters have done all they want or the group just wants to start over (most likely with a different game).

I once played in an experimental game, where everyone started off with 1000 karma. At this stage, you could expect to face down Ryan Mercury and Scale in personal combat, and hope to win. Yes, the differences were huge; but you could stay within the same principles as a lower-powered game.
SL James
I always figured it was the duty of a playtester to destroy the rules (that is, the exploit and rape every loophole until it's a bloody unidentifiable mass). I'm shocked that he can exploit the loopholes. Really. It's like you just smacked me in the face with a sledgehammer.
Synner
QUOTE (Cain @ Mar 31 2006, 01:18 AM)
QUOTE
Exactly what an agent can or cannot do will be described in Unwired as will its limitations and advantages. There will be further clarifications on how subscription and accounts work and more importantly how corporate systems protect themselves beyond the basics described in SR4. I don't think it's stepping out of bounds to say that if a teamwork option is allowed it will only be with agents running on through the same commlink as the hacker (due to node subscription and access issues) and will be limited to those currently subscribed (due to the interaction necessary to properly cooperate rather than get in each other's way).

So you're working to cover up the problem. That's not very encouraging, to me. The real issue, in my mind, happens to be the mechanics that allow the Burly Man brawl: Teamwork tests and multi-commlink usage. I've seen lots of people here post various exploits about using multiple commlinks, and no believeable reason to stop them. The massive Agent Army is just one permutation of that.

Honestly I care very little about what you think. I was taking valuable time from my work to clarify and expand on what was intended by the rules - as explained to me by the person who wrote them. I was explaining why certain deductions - which are not grounded in any rules reference in SR4 - are wrong and how the advanced rules for the Matrix will likely address them. Just like the possibility of teamwork has been misinterpreted - admittedly because the rules don't outright say it isn't possible, they simply don't state it is possible - the multi-commlink problem is to a large extent a false one because certain aspects of the Matrix still function similar to the way they did in SR3. However, using separate commlinks to safeguard your PAN is a valid tactic and works just like the corporate chokepoint node chain.

QUOTE
QUOTE
There's a huge distinction between a "loophole" that exists because the existing rules didn't have space to cover everything in sufficient in the one published rulebook and a loophole created by a massive design flaw and inconsistency.

Again: the problem here isn't just an army of Mr. Smiths. The problem lies in teamwork tests themselves, plus the tricks you can pull by using multiple commlinks.

Unless of course you've made a number of wrong assumptions about the way multiple commlinks, subscriptions and access IDs work - which as far as I'm concerned you have.

QUOTE
Just like the longshot problem requires an alteration to the basic assumption of a fixed TN to correct, the problems are at the root of the system, not the surface details.

Many people myself included believe there is nothing wrong with the Long Shot system in place, so I don't see a need to alter anything and it has been found to work the way the devs wanted in playtesting.

QUOTE
The other problems are pretty well connected to the basic assumptions of the game as well. Synner, you yourself pointed out that SR4 is meant to be a closed system. Unfortunately, that means that even if a group of players desires a higher-powered game, they can't just simply lift the caps and be done with it. The entire scope of the game is *based* on those limits. There's simply no stopping people with 30+dice for a test; the mechanics break down at that point. (I might also add that somewhere on this forum, somebody posted an elven face who has 33 dice for Seduction. Legal starting character, too, IIRC.) The basic power levels of the game assume that the best of the best, the most powerful in their fields, will be tossing between 14-18 dice; the die mechanics also still work within this range. However, once you've gone past that, things fall apart... and there are many things in SR4 that can be pushed to that level.

I suggest you actually sit down at a table and put this to the test. Others have. I do not advocate lifting the caps and if someone were to do so and ask my opinion, I'd suggest lifting them to Rating x2 producing dice pools that average one maybe two more successes. Regardless of the dicepool difference the linear progression is the great leveler not the modifiers and all you need is to stay alive long enough to make one lucky shot.

QUOTE
QUOTE
Unfortunately this implies that you don't even consider that playing a new character built within the new system could be a fun experience... and as I've said before in private, that's a pity.

It's probably pointless to remind you that mfb was a playtester as well, and probably started with SR4 at around the same time you did. More than any of us, he can say he gave it a good try, and has honest reasons for his dislike

Actually, I am fully aware of exactly what mfb and crew playtested and what they didn't, I am also aware of exactly when his crew gave up on playtesting the game, and that he did not playtest the final iteration of the rules (and as far as I know has never actually played them). These included significant changes to combat, the matrix and even rigging.

QUOTE
I once played in an experimental game, where everyone started off with 1000 karma. At this stage, you could expect to face down Ryan Mercury and Scale in personal combat, and hope to win. Yes, the differences were huge; but you could stay within the same principles as a lower-powered game.

I have yet to see evidence that you can't do the same thing in SR4. Not that that is relevant, SR4 wasn't designed for the gamer who plays a 1000 karma character, because that gamer and that style of play doesn't reflect the typical gamer and game in today's SR market.

QUOTE
I always figured it was the duty of a playtester to destroy the rules (that is, the exploit and rape every loophole until it's a bloody unidentifiable mass). I'm shocked that he can exploit the loopholes. Really. It's like you just smacked me in the face with a sledgehammer.

What the heck are you on about? He who? The only playtesters here are myself and mfb, and mfb didn't exploit this "loophole", either in this thread or as a playtester, and if he did, he failed in his "duty as a playtester" because he didn't bring it up in his groups' reports. In fact, mfb will correct me if I'm wrong, I'm pretty sure his group didn't provide much in the way of "loophole analysis". If anyone came up with an exploit it was Cain. Next time make sure you're in possession of the facts - or that at least your post makes sense.

I apologize mfb, I have no intention of singling you out and I'm sorry I do so above. I know you gave it your best shot and I have thanked you for your contributions (you know which ones). I will not pursue this discussion, because it can only degenerate further from this point and I really do have better things to do with my time.
James McMurray
Dangit, I had a nice long reply that died at the hands of an internet hicup. HEre's the brief recap:

I've never said anything about any kind of GM Fiat I've handed down in an SR4 game. Having not run it yet, that would be impossible.

My group always sits down for the purposes of mutual enjoyment, and love discussing the games we play, how to make them better, and what things work and don't work. That's precisely why I said they were mature. For instance, before tomorrow's game we'll be holding each character up to one another and making sure they're in the same general power spectrum so they'll function well together.

I'm glad I managed to make you sick of something, you amke me sick of a lot of things. wink.gif

Nice try though.
Cain
QUOTE
I was explaining why certain deductions - which are not grounded in any rules reference in SR4 - are wrong and how the advanced rules for the Matrix will likely address them. Just like the possibility of teamwork has been misinterpreted - admittedly because the rules don't outright say it isn't possible, they simply don't state it is possible - the multi-commlink problem is to a large extent a false one because certain aspects of the Matrix still function similar to the way they did in SR3. However, using separate commlinks to safeguard your PAN is a valid tactic and works just like the corporate chokepoint node chain.

That's one trick. There are others. Multi-commlinks so you can rapidly switch communications when one is compromised is another. But you're proving a point-- if the multi-commlink trick is so effective, why isn't everyone and his brother doing it? And then, things start to get unweildy on the big end, since everyone now needs fifteen tiers of access to protect themselves. Legitimate users get slowed to a crawl, data traffic snarls, and things start to break down again.

The response/system/active programs relationship is one of these problems, which needs to be addressed. Leaving aside the spiral of death issue, which can be easily house ruled away, it becomes way too easy to crash a system by simply uploading enough programs to reduce its Response-- and thus its System, and its IC-- to zero. Since Data Bombs and Encrypt are all programs, you've just lost almost all the security you had on your file.

And that *still* doesn't address the possibility of Teamwork test abuse. The Million Agent March is just the most obvious example. I can think of several others-- cross-linking a drone army to acquire a target for a missile, for example.
QUOTE
Many people myself included believe there is nothing wrong with the Long Shot system in place, so I don't see a need to alter anything and it has been found to work the way the devs wanted in playtesting.

Which is where mfb's "flexibilty" argument comes into play. Guess what, the devs aren't "all gamers", or even "all Shadowrun gamers". People like different styles within their games, and they like a system that can accomodate those variances. You're essentially saying: "It works for us. Too bad if it doesn't work for you."
QUOTE
I suggest you actually sit down at a table and put this to the test. Others have. I do not advocate lifting the caps and if someone were to do so and ask my opinion, I'd suggest lifting them to Rating x2 producing dice pools that average one maybe two more successes. Regardless of the dicepool difference the linear progression is the great leveler not the modifiers and all you need is to stay alive long enough to make one lucky shot.

Once you've reached the point where your average is 10 successes, there's not much out there than can challenge you anymore. The linear progression makes sure of that. The more dice you roll, the less variability you'll see-- this is called "regression to the mean". So, once you're rolling 30+ dice, you'll see those 10 successes on a regular basis. Your characters' effectiveness is now defined by the number of dice they're throwing; that's a bit too much like a level-based system for my liking, where your levels determine your effectiveness.

Now, granted, in just about any multi-die system rolling 30 dice at once is pushing things. However, the fixed TN reduces the variability, and thus raises the power level accordingly. A floating TN system alters the variability either up or down, so it becomes a lot less predictable. Your dice are just one factor in determining the power of your character-- which is part of the setting of Shadowrun. You're good, but you're not *that* good yet, and the pecking order isn't perfectly clear.
QUOTE
I've never said anything about any kind of GM Fiat I've handed down in an SR4 game.

Do you *really* want me to go back in this thread and show you all the times you have done exactly that? You said that if you GM fiated a character out of the game, you'd have a player who respected your GM abilities. That alone indicates that you seem to think the sledgehammer is a valid way to earn player respect.

Now, I noticed that you suddenly changed your definition of "mature" players as fitting the mold of the players I was describing. Why change your story now? Before, you said that mature players were the ones who blithely followed the GM decisions. Now, all of a sudden, they're discussing things with you! Wow, what a switch! The next thing you'll know, they'll be learning clever new tricks-- some of which, incidentally, will probably turn game-breaking. Mature players *learn*.

Now, I'll ask you nicely to stop the outright flames. I make snippy and snide comments, but I always stop short of an outright attack. You don't make me sick; I just have to wonder what kind of guy blows his cool just because someone disagrees with him.
Deadjester
I am curious, what is the point of these debates, is it open vs closed which have the same end result but in different ways?

Is it the flaws in SR4s system that every game seems to have?

Is it just plain game mechanics style that certain people just don't like?

Are the people crusading so hard against SR4 even playing it and if not, why this debate?

One person has already mentioned on another post he is just getting out his agrression due to his disappointment, which I understand, I just don't think its correct that it has gone on to this degree.

But I don't understand why others are carrying on this fight so hard, the game is made, until SR5 comes out there won't be many changes. Hell most people are just begging FOR somthing to come out let alone start messing with the rules.

I can see such hard debates such as we had in EQ/EQII due to the fact it was about major changes that were to come that would effect so much, but this?

I just don't get it.

The only time I have ever seen any major changes in gaming is due to either a massive, massive out cry by the players, (which I don't see here) or subscriptions start to take a sharp drop.

I know in my area SR4 sells well, as well in other areas and from what I have read from the responses I hear more of high sales then lack of sales which tells me people are interested.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
how, exactly, is a well-built character easier to kill?

Easier? I'd say a bit harder than a normal one, but it both happens quite easily if one does not pay attention.

QUOTE (mfb)
i don't have a lot of experience with making players quit, so i'm not even going to ask about that.

Oh, not the players - the characters. wink.gif
mfb
okay, Rotbart, you're avoiding the issues again. when you're ready to discuss, rather than avoid, let me know.

QUOTE (Deadjester)
One person has already mentioned on another post he is just getting out his agrression due to his disappointment...

way to misquote me. that is, yes, one of the reasons i noted. it's hardly the main reason, let alone the only reason. my reasons for posting here have not changed since the last time i answered this question. if you don't get it, and you're interested in getting it, use the search function. if not, you might consider the fact that it's an even bigger waste of time asking about it as it allegedly is for me to make these posts.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
okay, Rotbart, you're avoiding the issues again.

Oh, I'm certainly adressing the issues you have, but apparently, you don't like what you are being told.

If you want to take part in an actual discussion, mfb, instead of just claiming things, you are always welcome.
mfb
no. i'm talking about the difficulty of challenging high-end characters within their specialty--in making a high-end character miss, whose focus is shooting people, for instance. you're talking about how easy it is to kill them, which is not germaine to the discussion because it's always easy for the GM to kill characters, no matter what game you're playing.
Rotbart van Dainig
QUOTE (mfb)
i'm talking about the difficulty of challenging high-end characters within their specialty--in making a high-end character miss, whose focus is shooting people, for instance.

And then you are extrapolating that as a general issue about how hard it is to challenge them at all.

As a sidenote, there isn't really a doubt about the mechanical behaviour of the chosen systems - the question is whether it does suit the style of play.

QUOTE (mfb)
you're talking about how easy it is to kill them, which is not germaine to the discussion because it's always easy for the GM to kill characters, no matter what game you're playing.

I'm talking about how close that application gets them to overall sucess, i.e. how hard it is to challenge them in general.

The point where it started was how one does challenge very experienced characters - and the only conclusion, given the setup of SR4, is that you can mix experience levels way better.
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