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MaxMahem
Well I've started up SR4 again after a hiatus, and as is probably typical I've been coming up with some house rules to adjust the system to better suit my groups taste, so I thought I would run them by you guys to see what you think.

Table rules:
If it falls off the table re-roll it.
If you accidentally rolled to many dice for a test you must reroll the test. (Seems the only fair way to handle it)
If I roll it behind the screen its results are probably not for you to know. Otherwise I'll have one of the you roll my dice for me. Unless I need to keep the stats secret for some reason.

Character Creation
Use the extended rules in Augmentation for cyberlimbs. Otherwise they make no sense
Specializations are done SR3 style. Specializing in something improves your skill with that specialty by one but decrease your skill with everything else by one. Cost remains the same. (Part of an effort to decrease die pools, and also to give specialization a drawback otherwise why NOT take it?)
Availability limits apply, but I'm flexible. Ask me and I might allow some higher availability equipment.

Weapons
**Under Consideration** Bows deal (STR/2)+3 damage. (Still a powerful weapon in the hands of a Troll, but not as absurdly powerful
Obvious cyberlimbs deal damage like Titanium bonelacing.
Synthetic cyberlimbs deal physical damage as well.
The Errata stuff on ammo is applied.
Unconventional ammo (like sticky shock) may not be available for all calibers of weapons, specifically light pistols.

Healing
Physical damage is recovered by a Bodyx2 test once every week not day, IF you have received some sort of medical care (beyond first aid or heal). Otherwise the test takes place one every month. (Makes recovering from getting shot a much more realistic process)
Stun damage is recovered by a Body+Willpower test one every day not hour. Likewise makes recovering from getting a beating more realistic)
The optional rules for serious wounds in Augmentation are also used.
Going price for black market care is 100Y per box treated, serious wounds will cost more and may have more serious treatment needs (cloned parts and what not).

Advancment
Switch the costs for improving an attribute and a skill group. So improving an attribute now costs 5xnew while a skill group costs 3x new rating.
---

Thats it for now, mostly minor things. But I'm thinking possibly about making some
changes to the way AP modifiers and Armor is handled, movement, and initiative passes, which all seem to be slowing down and confusing my game. We'll see. Thoughts and comments are appreciated.
Narse
Looks like a good list. Several things I like, for example your advancement rule.

Now, a suggestion: If your players are Munchy enough for you to need to gimp the Bow I would suggest not letting obvious cyberlimbs do damage as titanium bone lacing. Several reasons: Firstly a cyberlimb costs less essence and nuyen than Titanium bonelacing. Titanium bonelacing is an awesome piece of cyber that is kept balanced by its essence cost, nuyen cost, draconian legality, and high availability(16). Cyberarms (and legs) cost less essence and are perfectly legal (well so is bone density enhancement, but it is bioware and expensive). Furthermore this essentially replaces spurs, as they do exactly the same damage. Combining such a potent meele ability with a piece of cyber that lets your players increase the strength with which they hit... could lead to game balance issues. For example, If I were making a munchkin type character for your game I would play a meele combat adept, who in an unfortunate accident lost his leg and got it replaced by one with 6 (or more) strength and high agility. This 1 point of essence loss drops the adepts magic to 4 leaving him with only 4 levels of critical strike and a kick that deals 10P damage, and is only restricted in legality. Sure its obvious, but it is also a fairly common piece of gear.

My suggestion is that you lower the damage code a bit. Say have obvious limbs do damage as plastic bone lacing (heck, they probably are plastic anyway, who wants to carry around a 40lb weight attached to their shoulder at all times?) and have synthetic do normal damage, but physical instead of stun.

Of course this is your game, and you might want your players to have metal limbs that they crush their opponents faces with. Thats fine. This is just a suggestion of a potential issue that might occur, and how to solve it (maybe...). I hope that this post was helpful.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (MaxMahem)
If you accidentally rolled to many dice for a test you must reroll the test. (Seems the only fair way to handle it)

One suggestion: I allow the player to reroll the test, OR to assume that every extra die came up as a hit and subtract the difference in successes, at their option.
That way, if they roll 10 dice and get 8 hits (OMFG lucky) but they were only supposed to roll 8 dice, then they have the option of rerolling the entire set of 8 dice (the correct pool) and keeping what they get, or they can just subtract 2 hits (the difference of dice in the pools) from their previous total and take 6 hits. That way a minor and entirely honest bookkeeping mistake doesn't accidentally negate an incredibly lucky/dramatic roll. (of course, they choose which they're doing before they're rerolling, not after, and any dice that rule-of-six are considered the "best dice" and are dropped first, if they take that option)
I used to use your house-rule, but this one came from an incredibly dramatic hail-mary throw of the dice at the climax of a campaign and totally saved the characters' bacon, and after the amazing roll landed we realized that one too many dice had accidentally slipped into his hand (the offending player was even the stand-up guy to point it out). If he had to reroll the pool there's no way he'd come even close to the miracle he'd just pulled off (even minus one hit), so we just dropped a hit, assuming the extra die was the best one, and the day was saved.
Kyoto Kid
...the table rules are pretty much standard in our group. Of course there are times I use a dice roller programme (which calculates hits and adjusts for application of Edge), when I don't want to tip off the PCs that something is going on.

We tend to stick to the rules on availability during Chargen. I considered doing a Cha + Etiquette test but then you get that Face Adept will be walking around with a Panther Cannon or Barret Sniper rifle.

I kind of like rationale behind using the 3rd ed approach to specialisations.

I agree with extending time for healing.
Moon-Hawk
Speaking of availability, I have a rule that if the fixer/contact/whoever who is trying to get the gear for the PCs can make the availability test in one roll, then screw the task time he pulls it out of his back pocket (not literally, but I assume it's something he happens to have on-hand and I ignore the normal task time)
Lagomorph
QUOTE (MaxMahem)
Healing
Physical damage is recovered by a Bodyx2 test once every week not day, IF you have received some sort of medical care (beyond first aid or heal). Otherwise the test takes place one every month. (Makes recovering from getting shot a much more realistic process)
Stun damage is recovered by a Body+Willpower test one every day not hour. Likewise makes recovering from getting a beating more realistic)
The optional rules for serious wounds in Augmentation are also used.
Going price for black market care is 100Y per box treated, serious wounds will cost more and may have more serious treatment needs (cloned parts and what not).

I think these are good, but this seems like it would force the players to have a mage with heal. If they were going to have this anyway, why have these rules in place? Are you thinking of restricting the heal spell to fit more inline with these rules?
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (MaxMahem @ Dec 3 2007, 07:53 AM)
Specializations are done SR3 style.  Specializing in something improves your skill with that specialty by one but decrease your skill with everything else by one.  Cost remains the same.  (Part of an effort to decrease die pools, and also to give specialization a drawback otherwise why NOT take it?)


I think I like this one. I'm going to do something similar in the next game, but too late to change them now I think.

QUOTE
Weapons
**Under Consideration** Bows deal (STR/2)+3 damage.  (Still a powerful weapon in the hands of a Troll, but not as absurdly powerful


Seems good.

QUOTE

Healing
Physical damage is recovered by a Bodyx2 test once every week not day, IF you have received some sort of medical care (beyond first aid or heal).  Otherwise the test takes place one every month.  (Makes recovering from getting shot a much more realistic process)


So if I cut my finger it will take a week minimum for the wound to heal? Sorry, that's not how the body works. Minor injuries shouldn't take more than 1-3 days (given proper care). If you want to slow down healing I would rather use the optional rules un augmentation (body alone, or body*2 - wound penalties. Serious injuries thus require medical attention, and usually days in hospital.

Having a cut take 1 month to heal is absurd, even with no medical care.

How about it taking 1 day+ 1 day per wound penalty? In which case heavy damage takes at least 4 days to heal.


QUOTE
Stun damage is recovered by a Body+Willpower test one every day not hour.  Likewise makes recovering from getting a beating more realistic)


Again a bit over the top. A bruise may take a day or so to heal fully, but if I get knocked out I don't take minimum a day to wake up. I would rather increase the chance of taking lethal damage on Stun attacks, to represent heavy bruising and broken bones etc. Note that in real life a taser can keep you incapacitated for seconds or minutes, while in your game you want it for a whole day?

.

QUOTE
Advancment
Switch the costs for improving an attribute and a skill group.  So improving an attribute now costs 5xnew while a skill group costs 3x new rating.
---

Probably not bad. My players things the rules are balanced on this for some reason though and still purchase Skill Groups.

QUOTE
Thats it for now, mostly minor things.  But I'm thinking possibly about making some
changes to the way AP modifiers and Armor is handled, movement, and initiative passes, which all seem to be slowing down and confusing my game.  We'll see.  Thoughts and comments are appreciated.


Tell us about it. How are initative passes confusing your game?



Kyoto Kid
...having a variable healing time for wounds worked better within the old wound classification framework from previous editions. Basically a light wound had one interval, a moderate another interval etc. Everyone had the same damage track (ten boxes) be they a frail 5'1" human girl or a 8'6" troll. Body attribute only affected how much overflow damage you could take after going down.

With a variable damage track as 4e has, establishing the break points becomes tricker when one character may have 9 boxes and another 14. Basically ir penalises the higher body character for he would have yet another time threshold to overcome. Using wound modifier as a basis is also subject to the Increased & Decreased Pain Tolerance qualities.
Glyph
I don't see how making wounds take forever to heal adds anything to the campaign. As far as realism, I don't think it's implausible for a high-tech setting like SR4 to allow much quicker recovery times for wounds. It seems like this new rule would only result in player frustration.

I don't have a problem with Attributes costing more to increase, but you have made skill groups too cheap compared to the cost of raising single skills - a skill group should at least cost double the cost of raising a single skill.

Other than that, good set of house rules.
Abbandon
I would not want to play in any of your games. I dont like your spec or healing changes.
Fortune
QUOTE (Abbandon)
I would not want to play in any of your games. I dont like your spec or healing changes.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on these house rules.
DTFarstar
Ditto, I don't mind harsher healing rules, but these seem a bit much. The spec thing.... I can say that I would never ever spec in your games unless it was really really important to the character, and I mean REALLY important. In other words.... I wouldn't create a character that would want to spec.

Chris
MaxMahem
Thanks for all the replies.

QUOTE (Narse)
Now, a suggestion: If your players are Munchy enough for you to need to gimp the Bow I would suggest not letting obvious cyberlimbs do damage as titanium bone lacing.

I miss read the figures for Titanium bone lacing damage, I was thinking they were (STR/2)+2 not (STR/2)+3. Obvious cyberlimbs will do damage like plastic bone lacing like you suggest (STR/2)+2. None of my player have bone lacing, but if they do I will have to think about scaling down the improvements they give (probably by one point each).

QUOTE (Moon Hawk)
One suggestion: I allow the player to reroll the test, OR to assume that every extra die came up as a hit and subtract the difference in successes, at their option.

Not a bad suggestion, I used that some in my last session, but in general I prefer to reroll the test. It just simpler that way, and my games need more simplicity I think.

QUOTE
Speaking of availability, I have a rule that if the fixer/contact/whoever who is trying to get the gear for the PCs can make the availability test in one roll, then screw the task time he pulls it out of his back pocket (not literally, but I assume it's something he happens to have on-hand and I ignore the normal task time)

I do this for low availability equipment as well. In addition anything legal under 4 you can easily find in a store, and anything legal under 6 you can find with some shopping). For higher Availability items I tend to ignore the availability test and just RP the quest to get whatever piece of equipment (what ever favor they have to exchange with a contact and what not).

QUOTE
We tend to stick to the rules on availability during Chargen. I considered doing a Cha + Etiquette test but then you get that Face Adept will be walking around with a Panther Cannon or Barret Sniper rifle.

Well that note is simply to recognize that the availability on some of the items are kind of wacky. Players can start play with items I would probably rather them not have (like machine guns) but not things I wouldn't mind so much (like retinal duplication).

QUOTE (Lagomorph)
I think these are good, but this seems like it would force the players to have a mage with heal. If they were going to have this anyway, why have these rules in place? Are you thinking of restricting the heal spell to fit more inline with these rules?

No mage with heal in the group yet so I haven't really looked at it that much. However my read on it is that a mage can use heal simply as a more reliable (and higher drain) version of first-aid. They can immediately patch up some boxes, but not to much more than that. Your average mage throwing like 12 dice or so is only going to heal 3 boxes on average, not enough to completely heal getting blasted apart by a machine gun or something. Since you only get one shot at it (like first aid), I don't see how it invalidates the longer healing times.

QUOTE (FriendoftheDork)
So if I cut my finger it will take a week minimum for the wound to heal? Sorry, that's not how the body works. Minor injuries shouldn't take more than 1-3 days (given proper care). If you want to slow down healing I would rather use the optional rules un augmentation (body alone, or body*2 - wound penalties. Serious injuries thus require medical attention, and usually days in hospital.

Having a cut take 1 month to heal is absurd, even with no medical care.

I implemented these rules because it seemed absurd to me that a buff Troll with say body of 10 could completely shake off being completely shot to bits by a machine gun in a couple days. If he's got 13 boxes and 20 dice to throw it usually only takes him two days to come completely back from deaths doorstep. This is without medical aid, just simple bed rest. Which seems a bit much.

I wouldn't go so far as to characterize a simple "cut on the finger" as being a box of damage. Two take a box of damage you would probably have to take a cut deep/wide/long enough to possibly justify a couple stitches. However I do allow partial tests with a partial portion of the dice if only say a week has gone by you could throw 1/4 of your dice to try and heal (if you haven't received medical aid).

In reality injuries are hard to heal. Someone who gets shot, or is badly cut, or breaks a bone, or takes any other serious physical injury is not going to be up and dancing around a couple days later, even with medical care. Their injuries are going to take time to heal.

Now, while I feel fully justified from a realism point of view with these changes, that wasn't my primary motivation. I wanted a grittier game. One where getting shot means something. Where each stab and bullet would is something like a brush with death. If a character can be right as rain a couple days after being beaten within an inch of his life, it is counterproductive to this feeling I think. If your laid up in bead for a couple weeks after your close call with the mafia enforces you take life and death a little more seriously I think. Since getting hurt is more than a minor inconvenience.

QUOTE
Again a bit over the top. A bruise may take a day or so to heal fully, but if I get knocked out I don't take minimum a day to wake up. I would rather increase the chance of taking lethal damage on Stun attacks, to represent heavy bruising and broken bones etc. Note that in real life a taser can keep you incapacitated for seconds or minutes, while in your game you want it for a whole day?

Same deal as before. I think it makes sense for a realism perspective to take a while to recover from being beaten or tazed unconscious. Anything that beats your brain/body around enough that you have a concussion or pass-out is going to take a while, possibly even a couple of days, to fully recover from. But again I feel this additional healing time adds to the gritty feel I'm trying to archive.

QUOTE
Tell us about it. How are initative passes confusing your game?

Probably more a part of it taking me a while to get back in the swing of things. Its been a while since I've done Shadowrun. However I'm not thrilled about how much more of an advantage having extra passes gives those with them. And I don't like having other players wait while I go through passes they can't even act in. Likewise splitting movement up over multiple passes can confuse things as well.

QUOTE (Glyph)
I don't have a problem with Attributes costing more to increase, but you have made skill groups too cheap compared to the cost of raising single skills - a skill group should at least cost double the cost of raising a single skill.

Quite possibly true, however this fix was quick and simple.
DTFarstar
Just make all movement rates a multiple of 4, and movement is no problem, keep in mind they aren't completely left out on passes where they have no actions. They can still be shot at and such, as well as move which is incredibly important. Hell, someone with 2 passes is generally less likely to be shot than a 4 passer in my games because a 2 passer will shoot 3 or 4 times, and take full freaking cover only moving back into the open on the beginning of the next Combat Phase. 4 passers are generally out and about doing stuff the whole time which means they get shot to hell more. Has advantages and disadvantages. AP and armor just takes a little while. I made little sheets for my characters that have attack dice pools, their main weapons, Ballistic and Impact armor in certain situations(differing equipment), and a penalty chart(from 1 to 9) We put them in plastic sleeves and put paper clips on the edges of them marking what your character is using at that particular time. As you get injured or visibility modifiers change and whatnot I let them know and they move the penalty marker. For AP and Armor we have me calculate net hits(they tell me how many they got) and I say "Soak X damage with a negative X (Ballistic or Impact)." or I just soak and describe what they did to me. I keep track of what their weapons stats are so I just need net hits to know what I need to soak for me.

With the sheet they just look at the armor in the upper left side and see where their paper clip is, subtract or add the number I told them, and roll that many dice + body(also written there so they don't have to worry about remembering). It sped things up alot and made my players happy. I would post a copy, but I tailored each sheet to each player so I didn't bother to save them to the HD.

Chris
Ryu
- Watch out for attribute distribution. Higher attribute costs ingame create a stronger incentive to min/max. Intuition/agility will still be as high as possible, and high groups added on that will increase used dice pools. Speaking of the groups: A group 4 costs 40 BP or 33 karma, one skill at 4 costs 16 BP or 22 karma. Expect some weird skill distributions that avoid high groups and single skils that are part of an interesting group.

- See specs as a way of giving flesh to a character. There does not have to be a penalty, you can only have one per skill. Using situative specs instead of the pretty all-time applicable ones (semi automatic pistols is a favourite) is a more sensible approach IMO.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE

I implemented these rules because it seemed absurd to me that a buff Troll with say body of 10 could completely shake off being completely shot to bits by a machine gun in a couple days. If he's got 13 boxes and 20 dice to throw it usually only takes him two days to come completely back from deaths doorstep. This is without medical aid, just simple bed rest. Which seems a bit much.

I wouldn't go so far as to characterize a simple "cut on the finger" as being a box of damage. Two take a box of damage you would probably have to take a cut deep/wide/long enough to possibly justify a couple stitches. However I do allow partial tests with a partial portion of the dice if only say a week has gone by you could throw 1/4 of your dice to try and heal (if you haven't received medical aid).

In reality injuries are hard to heal. Someone who gets shot, or is badly cut, or breaks a bone, or takes any other serious physical injury is not going to be up and dancing around a couple days later, even with medical care. Their injuries are going to take time to heal.

Now, while I feel fully justified from a realism point of view with these changes, that wasn't my primary motivation. I wanted a grittier game. One where getting shot means something. Where each stab and bullet would is something like a brush with death. If a character can be right as rain a couple days after being beaten within an inch of his life, it is counterproductive to this feeling I think. If your laid up in bead for a couple weeks after your close call with the mafia enforces you take life and death a little more seriously I think. Since getting hurt is more than a minor inconvenience.


Be careful about making house rules based off the extremes. Yes, Trolls often break the system one way or another, but you should also keep an eye one the norm - the body 3 guy. Most people only heal 1-2 boxes of damage each interval, which means an average guys with a normal but not life-threatening gunshot wound (5) will take 5-3 weeks in hospital etc. I don't claim to be an expert, but this looks somewhat long to me. But the worst part is if they don't recieve medical attention, in which case it takes 4 times longer! Now if there is an infection involved I can understand that, but those are already covered in the optional rules, and will completely halt the healing proccess rather than prolong it.

Now don't get me wrong, I agree the SR 4 healing rules are unrealistically fast, but I think your fix is overcompensating.


As for the stun damage, my take on a guy being beaten to an inch of his life is that the guy has been exposed to serious physical trauma, and there is little difference in having been pummeled with a stick (P in SR) or kicked while down to the head (S in SR).

So I would rather have some stun damage give some additional physical damage as well than make stun damage that dangerous. Think of the mages!

And people can be knocked out for relatively short durations, I doubt all boxers getting KO'ed in the ring will take minimum a day to wake up, and then a week before being somewhat ok again. Having bruises and black eyes for a long time? Sure, but we're talking about being in serious pain all the time.

So far I've been playing it by the book(s), and if not realistic it does make it more fun for players not having to sit out sessions because of injuries. If after a firefight a teammember drops unconscious (of stun or P), that means he can still participate in the mission in only a day or two (usually still hurt, but at least conscious). With your rules, you can expect unlucky players having to go home for one or more sessions, or simply give up having time limits in your game. Or having a bunch of backup PCs ready for use...
FrankTrollman
Frankly, any differences of Karma costs and BP lead to min/maxing and stupidity if analyzed carefully. The basic rules charge people 40 BP for a Skillgroup of 4, and 55 Karma to buy it later. They also charge 40 BP to have the lik attribute jacked up to 5 (which is better), and charge only 42 Karma to buy it up later. So Attribute investments are a no-brainer in a short campaign (where they are just like Skill Groups but add to even more dice pools), and should be avoided like plague for the starting character who intends to be played for a long time and accumulate a lot of karma.

The only way to actually fix that sort of thing is to go to a Karma system for character creation like Serbitar made; or to a BP for character advancement system like I made. No amount of tweaking the karma or BP costs can eliminate min/maxing because min/maxing is about making profits off of differences in relative costs. As long as BP and Karma have a different scale in any way, Comparative Advantage will exist and min/maxing will prosper.

Serbitar's House Rule Package can be found Right Here. Don't worry, only the first part of the post is actually in German, the rules are in English.

Here, for another example, are my own rules:


Character Creation and Advancement

Karma Does Not Exist
When your character succeeds and gets bling, it will come in the form of extra Build Points. These are spent at exactly the same rate as when you begin play. Exceptions:
  • You cannot purchase ¥ with post-character generation BP, nor can you sell ¥ for BP later on.
  • Contacts are acquired in-game and not with BP once the game has begun.
Skills are Half Price
  • Skills cost 2 BP
  • Skill Groups cost 5 BP
  • Specializations cost 1 BP
  • Knowledge Skills cost 1 BP
    Merry Christmas.
Starting maximums are still one 6 or two 5s. You can commute raising a Skill Group, meaning that if you purchase up one skill out of a Skill group you can raise the rest of them up one for 3 BP. If you raise two Skills out of the group, you can raise the remaining skills for just 1 BP – exactly as if you had just purchased the whole group at once.

Eventually characters can raise their skills to 7 for double cost. The augmented maximum of your skill is always skill +3 rather than Skill x 1.5.

Attributes are Not
Attributes still cost 10 BP per point and you can still throw down up to 200 BP into your Mental and Physical Attributes. Edge and Magic are, of course, Special Attributes and don't apply to that limit.

We are using a less painful methodology for raising attributes. Your natural maximum in Resonance/Magic only ever costs 10 BP. Raising any other attributes to the natural maximum costs 20 BP. Characters can raise their attributes past the normal maximum for 20 points each. This also raises their personal natural maximum and augmented maximum accordingly.

Varying Costs of Other Things
Contacts: A contact costs a number of “contact points? equal to its Loyalty times its Connections. You get 3 Contact points for a BP at character generation. This means that a 6/6 Contact still costs 12 actual BP, but a 3/3 Contact only costs 3 BP. This is to encourage people to know more less impressive people.

¥ Nuyen ¥: If we're playing at 400 BP starting, characters can get 7000¥ for 1 BP (cap is still 50 BP). If we are playing at 350, the exchange rate is still 5000¥ per BP.

Qualities and Races

You can take up to 35 BP of negative qualities, and up to 35 BP of positive qualities at character generation. You can purchase qualities later on with permission, but there has to be a reason. As normal.

Aspected Magicians

You can use the Aspected Magicians rules that I wrote. Aspected Magician is a positive quality which is taken instead of Magician, Adept, Mystic Adept, or Astral Sight (which is also removed altogether under this system because it is dumb). Aspected Magicians excel in their field of magic, ad this is represented by starting play as a Grade 1 Initiate with a metamagic of their choice. Unless otherwise stated, they are like Magicians. The types are as follows:
  • Aspected Conjurers Cannot learn Sorcery skills, cast spells, or provide Counterspelling. They can astrally perceive but cannot astrally project. They can can use other magic skills (most notably conjuring skills). This quality costs 10 points.
  • Aspected Sorcerers Cannot learn Conjuring skills, summon spirits, or Banish. They can astrally perceive but cannot astrally project. They can can use other magic skills (most notably Sorcery skills). This quality costs 10 points.
  • Path Aspect Must choose 2 categories of Magic and the associated spirits according to their tradition. The character may only cast spells or summon spirits of those two categories/types. They may still use Banishing and Counterspelling against any target. They may still conjure Watchers and Allies. They can astrally perceive but cannot astrally project. This quality costs 10 points.
  • Astral Aspect Cannot cast any spells on Physical Targets, nor can they conjure any spirit that has Possession or Materialization (Watchers are still OK). They can still cast Mana spells on Astral Targets. The threshold for their Assensing tests is reduced by 1. This quality costs 5 points.
Some Qualities Don't Exist

We're looking at you Aptitude, Exceptional Attribute, and Lucky. The rules for exceeding normal caps are much less stringent, so these qualities don't do anything.

Metatypes and Cost

Ork, Elf, or Dwarf: 25 BP
Troll: 35 BP

Ghouls
Ghoul (30 BP):

B: 5/10
A: 1/6
R: 3/8
S: 4/9
C: 1/4
I: 2/7
L: 1/5
W: 3/8
Edg: 1/6
Ess: 5
M: 1/5
Movement: 10/25

Powers:
Dual Natured, Enhanced Senses (Hearing, Smell), Natural Weapon (Claws: S/2 + 1), Resistance (+3 dice vs. Disease)

Ghouls get the following Negative Qualities and gain no BPs for them (these do not count against the 35 BP limit):
Allergy (Sunlight, Mild), Dark Secret (Ghoul), Dietary Requirement (Metahuman Flesh), Reduced Senses (Blind).

In-Game Shenanigans

Matrix Rules

These are fairly long:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?show...opic=19657&st=0

Toxic Traditions

Playable ones:
http://forums.dumpshock.com/index.php?showtopic=15585
The bad guys will be using this system even if the players are not.

Hardened Armor

Hardened Armor provides automatic damage reduction hits. It is also half the size it appears at in the basic book. That means that a Force 6 Spirit has Immunity to Normal Weapons that provides 6 automatic hits soaking damage. AP still reduces Hardened Armor.

-Frank
Fuchs
Or you can simply state "Make your character. The group checks the stats, and adjustements will be made to make sure it's within group level. No, we do not care how you get your stats, by what gear or skill or adept power. All we care about is that in the end, your character is not over- or underpowered. How efficient or inefficient your build is does not matter. And yes, character advancement falls under the same guidelines."

Min-Maxing doesn't happen if the end result is all that matters, and subject to hard caps. (On a character level, so spending saved points on more skills or gears or powers thanks to some minmaxing effort won't work either.)
Blade
Actually, if you read carefully the rules you'll notice that GM approval is all part of the character creation process. It's as valid as the BP costs or any other creation rules.
Ryu
Yes. And any houserule should fix issues, as doing better than canon is not as easy as some people think.

Idea on healing times: fixed dicepool of 3 (without medical care), extended test with threshold=damage boxes, success heals one box, high body reduces threshold.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (MaxMahem)
It just simpler that way, and my games need more simplicity I think.

Then cut down on the number of unnecessary house-rules. biggrin.gif

Seriously, if you're pretty sure that something will work a teeny bit better, or be slightly more realistic in certain contrived situations, or if someone builds a character with a combination of X, Y, and Z things could be slightly weird, then the problem is probably not worth the added confusion of a house rule in return for marginal and/or questionable improvement.
House-rules are only worth the bother, confusion, and complexity if you're absolutely sure there's a very serious problem.
This is all IMHO, of course. And I do use a significant list of house-rules, so I'm not telling you not to do it.
But given
QUOTE
Probably more a part of it taking me a while to get back in the swing of things. Its been a while since I've done Shadowrun.
I submit to you that it just might be the case that you're fixing perceived problems that aren't actually as big of problems as you currently think they are. Give some time with the actual rules before you start fixing the problems you think you will see.
But of course, every group is different. Yours is obviously a lot different than mine if you regularly have combats lasting into passes 3 and 4.
Lagomorph
QUOTE (MaxMahem)
Thanks for all the replies.

QUOTE (Lagomorph)
I think these are good, but this seems like it would force the players to have a mage with heal. If they were going to have this anyway, why have these rules in place? Are you thinking of restricting the heal spell to fit more inline with these rules?

No mage with heal in the group yet so I haven't really looked at it that much. However my read on it is that a mage can use heal simply as a more reliable (and higher drain) version of first-aid. They can immediately patch up some boxes, but not to much more than that. Your average mage throwing like 12 dice or so is only going to heal 3 boxes on average, not enough to completely heal getting blasted apart by a machine gun or something. Since you only get one shot at it (like first aid), I don't see how it invalidates the longer healing times.

That also means that a maxed out heal bot mage (~22+dice) is going to heal like a super troll, but instead of taking a month in your rules, it'll take less than an hour. Who would run around with out this ability given the consequenses of being laid up for weeks or months because of a fight? You only get to use it once, but if you're playing with min/maxers, once is all you'll need, and if your table doesn't have any min/maxers then.. can I join? biggrin.gif

To be clear, my point is that, if you don't have min/maxers, then the rules are superfluous as the players will be with in reason, and if you do have min/maxers, then you haven't solved the problem because they'll get around it with magic.
MaxMahem
Thanks for the additional replies. Apparently some of these came in while I was typing my last post so I'll get to them.

QUOTE (DTFarstar)
The spec thing.... I can say that I would never ever spec in your games unless it was really really important to the character, and I mean REALLY important. In other words.... I wouldn't create a character that would want to spec.

This confuses me because it seemed like the biggest no brainier of the bunch. Specialization, as written, seems terribly broken to me. Why on earth would anyone ever not specialize? It costs much less (in karma or BP) the raising the skill and you get much more for it. Its almost like free dice. There really is no downside.

This is how specialization was handled in SR3, and IIRC, in earlier editions as well. I'm unsure why they decided to change it in SR4, especially considering extra dice are generally worth more in SR4 then in SR3.

In my experience characters with specializations rarely use the skill for anything besides the subset they have specialized in. This is because by and large players control what skill they are going to use. In the large majority of situations the character/player can decied what weapon/vehicle/whatever he is going to make use of, and so chooses one for which his specialization applies. Situations where the GM/Setting dictates which aspect of the skill he is going to use are much less frequent. So for most characters the penalty is well worth taking, since they rarely comes a time when it comes into play. And those few times are more than payed off for the extra dice they get most of the time.

In practice the difference does not seem to be that great. Since the use of the base skill does not tend to come up that often, the only difference the majority of the time is one less dice to throw vrs the base rules. And at that its still a good deal. 1 die for 2BP/Karma is a pretty good deal IMO.

QUOTE (Ryu)
- See specs as a way of giving flesh to a character.

I still do, just a more balanced way of doing it, rather than just giving the player 2 nearly free dice to use all the time.

QUOTE
Using situative specs instead of the pretty all-time applicable ones

What exactly do you mean by this? If you could give an example? I already tend to require some specializations to be more precise in some categories. For example you would have to specialize in a more specific type of pistol, like light pistols, revolvers, or 'Ares Predators' rather than the fairly broad category of semi-automatics

QUOTE
- Watch out for attribute distribution

I'll keep an eye out for it, but my group isn't THAT big on crunching numbers and will likely not notice the advantage in increase their attributes at creation as opposed to later with Karma. In any case they are still limited to 200BP for stats, and were spending all that before knowing really anything about the rules.

QUOTE
Be careful about making house rules based off the extremes. Yes, Trolls often break the system one way or another, but you should also keep an eye one the norm - the body 3 guy. Most people only heal 1-2 boxes of damage each interval, which means an average guys with a normal but not life-threatening gunshot wound (5) will take 5-3 weeks in hospital etc. I don't claim to be an expert, but this looks somewhat long to me. But the worst part is if they don't recieve medical attention, in which case it takes 4 times longer! Now if there is an infection involved I can understand that, but those are already covered in the optional rules, and will completely halt the healing proccess rather than prolong it.

Well even a normal bod 3 guy heals unrealisitcly fast in SR4. He goes from being on death doorstep (10 boxes) to A-OK in just 5 days or so, without ever even thinking about seeing a doctor. This is VERY unrealistic. If I break my arm say (probably around 3-6 boxes of damage) I can't sleep that off in a week. Even if I go to see a doc my arm will be in a cast for a while (subbing for wound penalties quite nicely). It should also be noted that partial test are very much allowed, so I could be up and back on my feet in less than 3-5 weeks with that gunshot wound, I just wouldn't be at 100% yet.

Also I did not mean to say that medical attention meant a continuous stay in the hospital, only that they had received medical care to tend to their wounds somewhat. Ie gone to a doc and had any bones set, wounds stitched, bullets extracted, ect. I do figure that virtually all medical care in SR (especially that which you get from a street doc!) would be out-patient. The cost also includes any medication and what not you might be supplied.

QUOTE
As for the stun damage, my take on a guy being beaten to an inch of his life is that the guy has been exposed to serious physical trauma, and there is little difference in having been pummeled with a stick (P in SR) or kicked while down to the head (S in SR).

I'm not opposed to this, but it seems like rules for handling this would be complicated.

QUOTE
And people can be knocked out for relatively short durations, I doubt all boxers getting KO'ed in the ring will take minimum a day to wake up, and then a week before being somewhat ok again. Having bruises and black eyes for a long time? Sure, but we're talking about being in serious pain all the time.

True enough that you sometimes only get KO for seconds to minutes, while other times you be KO for quite some time. However I can't think of any easy way to rule on this difference besides ruling that the occasional glitch on a damage resistance test results in a PC getting KO for a little while.

Also as I pointed out before you can take a partial test to wake up earlier. Your average guy would be up in only 12 hours or so after being beaten unconscious. And while you may recover from getting KO some how fairly quickly. The bruises/concussion/whatever from such a sever beating probably linger for some time. You may be up, but you probably are not 100% percent, it will take a while (few days) to fully recover. I know that can be the case for me when I just have a really bad migraine, which probably qualifies as only a few boxes of stun at most.

QUOTE
So far I've been playing it by the book(s), and if not realistic it does make it more fun for players not having to sit out sessions because of injuries. If after a firefight a teammember drops unconscious (of stun or P), that means he can still participate in the mission in only a day or two (usually still hurt, but at least conscious). With your rules, you can expect unlucky players having to go home for one or more sessions, or simply give up having time limits in your game. Or having a bunch of backup PCs ready for use...

Well as GM I can control the rate of missions, and not drop the next session on my players until they are (mostly) ready for it. As for getting hurt mid-mission. Well thems the breaks. Pushing on to complete a task even while injured is part of SR IMO. Most of my runs don't last longer than a couple days at most, so a character wouldn't have a chance to recover anyways. Also slap-patches, first aid, and magic are all available to try and heal some of that damage anyways. Its the long term recovery that takes longer.

---
FrankTrollman, I like most of your housrules, especially the ones for hardened armor (which I may implement). I consider doing BP instead of Karma as well, but thought it to much work to figure out before the campign started. I would consider switching to it now if I were not already a little ways into the campaign. I have a couple questions though:
#1. How does the decreased cost of skills and skill groups affect the power level of your campaigns? Is it necessary to decrease the BP total to compinsate if you want to keep characters of generally the same power level as default?
#2. How would you translate Karma to BP costs. For example if I was giving out 4-7 karma average per run how many BP would I then be giving out.
#3. Does the increased rate of advancement that I would suspect would happen as compared to a normal karma advancement cause any trouble in your games?

QUOTE (Lunar-Bird)
Then cut down on the number of unnecessary house-rules. biggrin.gif

Can't really argue with this to much. I'm a bit of a tweaker in every game I run, though I do tend to try and keep my modifications fairly minimal. I don't think any of that changes I am making in the game are that major really.

QUOTE
I submit to you that it just might be the case that you're fixing perceived problems that aren't actually as big of problems as you currently think they are. Give some time with the actual rules before you start fixing the problems you think you will see.
But of course, every group is different. Yours is obviously a lot different than mine if you regularly have combats lasting into passes 3 and 4.

Well I've been patching as I go along. Its been a little over a month or so now (after about a year hiatus). But these house rules have all come up to address issues we've had at the table.

However I suspect our groups are fairly different as I have only a couple players going into 3 passes and none with 4. And I generally have combat lasting multiple rounds even!

QUOTE (Lagomorph)
That also means that a maxed out heal bot mage (~22+dice) is going to heal like a super troll, but instead of taking a month in your rules, it'll take less than an hour. Who would run around with out this ability given the consequenses of being laid up for weeks or months because of a fight? You only get to use it once, but if you're playing with min/maxers, once is all you'll need, and if your table doesn't have any min/maxers then.. can I join? biggrin.gif

Well I don't have any BIG min-maxers at my table, but if you are anywhere around Texarkana, TX you are welcome to join. We meet monday nights. As for the mage, I'm a little confused by your assumptions. Assuming the spell is cast at force 6 his hits are still limited by that force, and so he can only heal at most 6 boxes which would take 18 dice on average. If he overcasted (and took physical damage) he could do more than that, though anyone heavily injured enough to require that could inflict some punishing damage on the mage, and even your maxed out heal bot mage would require edge to get much more than 7 odd hits, on average. I would of course have to look over your build before allowing it, but I don't see any extreme problem with it.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
How does the decreased cost of skills and skill groups affect the power level of your campaigns? Is it necessary to decrease the BP total to compinsate if you want to keep characters of generally the same power level as default?


Surprisingly little. Players can already afford to max out individual schticks and the effective dicepool caps haven't really changed. The net result is that people are moderately better at a bunch of tasks but the top specialists haven't budged. I find characters more interesting under these rules but the big change is that the difference between a specialist and a generalist shrinks. So the power discrepencies are actually lower. More players have skills in the 2-4 range and the characters who already had 6s haven't gotten any boosts in their field. So no, BP totals don't need to move.

QUOTE
How would you translate Karma to BP costs. For example if I was giving out 4-7 karma average per run how many BP would I then be giving out.


I give out about 2-4 BP per run. Generally giving people "about half" BP works out fine. This makes some characters (notably specialist magicians) advance more slowly and other characters (notably B&E specialists advance more quickly. And that's fine.

QUOTE
Does the increased rate of advancement that I would suspect would happen as compared to a normal karma advancement cause any trouble in your games?


I had a weekly game going for over two years. And while the characters had stolen a nuclear device, they weren't unreasonable or unbeatable.

----

For reasons that escape me, the "really slow healing option" that I wrote never made it into Augmentation. You might like it:

Really Slow Healing
The threshold to heal one box with the Healing rules on page 242 is the number of boxes your character has suffered, rather than one.

It's simple. Characters still recover from grazing wounds with a little bit of bed rest and some neosporin, and it takes a long time to recover from big eviscerating injuries. Yes, the healing rules in the basic book are absurdly fast. This is weird, but it's actually less game breaking than games where healing is absurdly slow.

----

Specializations in the current rules actually work fine. They are functionally the same as SR3 Specializations / SR1 Concentrations. Only because they don't have a mechanical penalty and the math is easy people actually use them. That's good because it accentuates differences between characters.

-Frank
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Specializations in the current rules actually work fine. They are functionally the same as SR3 Specializations / SR1 Concentrations. Only because they don't have a mechanical penalty and the math is easy people actually use them. That's good because it accentuates differences between characters.

An anecdotal observation: While they are functionally the same, there seems to be some psychological effect which makes not getting a bonus more palatable than taking a penalty, thus I have observed SR4 players to be more willing to operate outside of their specializations than in SR3. I consider this to be a good thing, given the irrational refusal of SR3 players to even consider going outside of their specializations.

Has anyone else noticed their players to be similarly crazy?
DTFarstar
Hell, I notice myself doing it, and I know things are mechanically the same.

Chris
Glyph
QUOTE (Fuchs)
Or you can simply state "Make your character. The group checks the stats, and adjustements will be made to make sure it's within group level. No, we do not care how you get your stats, by what gear or skill or adept power. All we care about is that in the end, your character is not over- or underpowered. How efficient or inefficient your build is does not matter. And yes, character advancement falls under the same guidelines."

Min-Maxing doesn't happen if the end result is all that matters, and subject to hard caps. (On a character level, so spending saved points on more skills or gears or powers thanks to some minmaxing effort won't work either.)

Wow. I'm all for the GM checking characters to avoid gross imbalances, but that's getting into Harrison Bergeron territory, there.
Fuchs
QUOTE (Glyph)
Wow. I'm all for the GM checking characters to avoid gross imbalances, but that's getting into Harrison Bergeron territory, there.

It works very well to avoid an arms race between players or between players and GM. It also curbs minmaxing and allows more choices. And it encourages players to focus on their character, and not its stats when playing.

So, in actual play, I feel we have more diversity, and less "all are the same" characters, since there are much fewer "best/most efficient/most effective" choices.
Moon-Hawk
QUOTE (DTFarstar)
Hell, I notice myself doing it, and I know things are mechanically the same.

Chris

You know, I'd probably do it too, except my deadbeat players will never run a game. So as long as I'm being repeatedly nominated GM, I'm going to be haughty and laugh at their foolishness, and the mistakes that I don't have an opportunity to make. wink.gif
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