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Hi there.

As a totally new wanna-be GM, I am working on modifying the character creation rules to accomadate a more begginer/street level type of game. I am hoping for a new to the shadows type feel, and I think with the current 400bps character come out pretty seasoned.

I have thought about directly lowering the BP's to 2 or 3 hundred, but am worried it may penalize certain character types more than others (Expensive meta-types/Magic users) and limiting cyber somehow.

Is this just better done by lowering availability? Anybody wanna throw some ideas my way, it would be greatly appreciated...
This has come up before. I think the generally agreed upon BP total was 300, while retaining the 200 max on stats.

As for magical characters, yes, this will hurt them, but it won't CRIPPLE them. They just won't be able to start at magic six without some serious shortcomings in other areas, which is the way a wizkid in a street/ganger campaign should be.
Hmm...well, depending on just how street level you want it to be, you could figure out the cost of a ganger or something from the sample characters section and give them a few more BPs than that. Honestly, I have no experience in lower powered campaigns - only played one, which started in SR3 and is still going on, and the new characters we're bringing in this Saturday had to be made with 550 BP to match up with the current ones well...
You need to limit pretty much everything... less BP, lower maximum Resources, lower Skill Rating maximum, lower Magic/Resonance maximum, lower Availabilities, lower Ratings.

Ankle Biter
the problem with low level campaigns is not so much they cripple mages, as you just buy a lower starting magic rating, it is that they give Phys ads quite an edge.

You aren't starting with cyber and for just 5 points you open up a large path of advancement, get a half price attributre at level one, and your experience can be dumped into it for a fairly large payoff to investment.

There is little reason for a starting ganger who is not a mage not to choose phys ad...

Technomancers, on the other hand, are fairly boned, as you need a high resonance to be able to do much of anything at all. Getting beat up by a meta link commlink's default IC is kind of embarrassing...
I think that the bigger component of a "street" level game isn't the BP limits, the stat limits, or even money or availability limits. The greatest, and most critical component is attitude.
Right! At least in my group the players need the GM's approval for their new characters. And the GM happens to be me! biggrin.gif
Ganger level Campaign

You can check out this thread and ask some of these folks their experience.
I find for myself I make character stats that I want to be the "norm" of the PC in my campaign and find out how many BP it costs to create that character. For a street level campaign I was able to get away with a 200 BP game (though this all but eliminates mages and hackers).
Red has the right of it. It's all in the attitude, the setting, the level of NPC support. It's not a numbers game. The numbers restrictions should augment the overall mood and theme, not the other way around. Here's how I'm doing the street-level game, with my team:

320 BP. 160 Attributes. This allows 3 across the board, average in all areas. You can configure from there. The runners certainly aren't the best at what they do, especially if they're a mage or (god forbid) technomancer. But if they use their heads more than their character sheets, they'll thrive.

No graded cyberware and no bioware. It's hard enough to come across a decent quality implant on the street.

Normal availability (12) and rating (6) restrictions. Note: I don't allow armor jackets at chargen, because the ballistic rating is 8, which is above the rating 6 chargen restriction.

No higher than Middle Lifestyle, and only for one month. No prepaying. Worry about the rent.

The good thing is, that my characters don't min/max too much. There's not much munchiness. Hell, one of the 2 mages has a Magic rating of 3 and his saving up for his fourth point. So they do a lot of the restriction work for me.
I GMed a low power campaign in SR3, and i agree that the most important part is the attitude of the players. My players had a compatible attitude, so it was fun wink.gif. They played a mage, an adept, a rigger, a streetsam and a face.
I am runnig a street level campaign. In which I went with a 360 bp half for att., limited availibilty to 8, and cash to 120,000. I think it would has worked fine but I didn't limit magic so everyone make an awaken specifical adepts so I would recommend magic limit to 4
One flaw I have seen with street games was with GM's that don't keep in mind the characters scale that they just had PC's make. They make ganger type characters, then expect them to perform as shadowrunners right out of the box.

I works better when they mostly stay out of 'runner' bars out of self preservation and deal more with the local mob enforcers, chip dealers, and cops, than with corporate security guards and the like. Some of the characters from Predator 2, like the voodoo king would be good. I've been doing a campaign liek this in New Orleans. So far only one corp has been involved, and that only on the side of a mob operation. It's been a nice change of pace, and has lots of flavor. More emphasis on NPC personality, less on position or stats.
James McMurray
If you're doing this because you have players that like to minmax (or even worse, just one player that does it) then lowering BP, resources, etc. is not going to help. If that's the case I'd suggest making the characters yourself, after asking the players what they want to be archetypally (se, I can create new words! smile.gif ). By doing that you can ensure that the adept isn't a god compared to the street sam, the mage can cast decent spells without being too beefy, and the hacker can get into the Stuffer Shack security cameras but not the FBI mainframe.
Zen Shooter01
The BP total isn't the issue. It's how you spend it.

A typical shadowrunner is a highly specialized expert who goes out on high-profit runs and hangs around at home levitating coffee cups and doing one-handed push-ups in his downtime.

Gangers, on the other hand, aren't at work when they do what they do. They're at home. So they are going to have more social skills, probably a Criminal Record, and more support skills. They're going to want to be able to fix their own car. They need a broader range of skills to survive in that environment.

On top of that, gangers will spend a lot more on contacts. I'd say that being a member of a small street gang is at least a 5/3 contact in and of itself. Gangers also probably have Dependents of one kind or another.
IMO a small street gang member wouldnt have connections all over the nation. At best i would figure a 3/? rating. Though i do agree with you that gangers would usually have alot of 2/? and 3/? connections to cover thier backs.
Zen Shooter01
I meant it as Loyalty/Connections, which may be backwards.
I agree that you would be better off simply letting the players know what kind of game you are running. If you lower the caps and the build points, you will only get a bunch of clone characters who are all right at the lowered cap and all have the same set of "essential" skills, since they can't afford anything else. It is easy to make a relatively weak character with 400 build points - simply be more of a generalist.

It takes more cooperation from the players, but if they don't want a lower-powered game, trying to shove one down their throats will only likely turn them off the game altogether. Now, I like low-powered games, myself, but I don't know if they are the best way to introduce brand-new players to the game. They are usually better-suited for more experienced GMs and roleplayers, in my opinion.
Part of the formula would have to be modifies chargen skill caps.

Say attributes max 4+ratial
Skills max 3with 2 at 4 or one at 5. exceptional skill edge not available at chargen.

Max starting assets 100k nuyen

That and possibly a slight reduction in build points (depending how versatile you want the characters to be) should get you what you’re after.

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