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Slymoon
I’ve been playing since the demise of SR1 and running games from the beginning of SR2, since then a lot of rules have been modified, officially or house ruled. I also picked up a limited edition of SR4 when it was released. However, was well into a longterm SR3 scenario, and so didn’t get into reading SR4 hardly at all. Save to be shocked at the total game mechanics change.

I have done a lot of search/ read over the past few weeks and it is obvious that there are passions on both sides of the SR4 coin. I am going to attempt a new SR4 campaign at least for a trial. My players are very set in their ways and I must admit several of the rules just rub me 100% the wrong way.

So without further procrastination here are the questions/ statement I have.

1. The idea of 0 dice meaning the test is impossible. Before you say ‘Edge’, if you are out of Edge? SOL? There are plenty of time IRL that I know my chance for succeeding at something are between slim and nil. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.

Some of the house rules I have seen allow for a minimum of 1 die. Hmmm… nothing really to comment on I suppose, just hard for me to swallow the: “No you can’t Fing roll a die!? mentality.

2. Variable Condition monitor + Body resistance die.
The old Mechanic was simple, variable body dice to roll with a static condition monitor.
D&D style play has no resistance but a variable health (read condition monitor)

It seems to stack both mechanics together makes for weak body characters that get double whammy. Few dice to resist and fewer boxes to lose. Where-as high body = more resist + more boxes.

2b. Variable wound penalties:
I get the loss of damage levels, whether or not I agree is irrelevant. With levels though I knew a serious wound was a sucking chest wound or missing limb. Simple, and it didn’t matter if you were 2? tall or 20’ tall, a serious wound was relative to you. You were in for serious hurt.

With the static -1 die per 3 boxes of damage + variable boxes per person relative damage doesn’t exist. 8 boxes of damage to a 2 body character means -2 dice and nearly dead. * boxes to a massive troll means the same, except he is only half hurt. That troll can continue for -4 dice.

Why does more body denote less function before death? Again damage does not seem to be relative anymore.

There are other things, but Ill keep them silent for abit.

In summery it seems that the mechanic/ rules want everyone to play a troll with max body and edge.

No I am not counting magic as the balance at this point. I feel it is weak to play the rock paper scissors game.


I suppose the questions I am asking is; why?

If a low body attribute is its own penalty (lower die to roll) why is it penalized more by having fewer hitpoi… Boxes?

If a high body attribute is its own reward (higher die to roll) why is it rewarded more by having more hitpoi… Boxes?


Why can’t someone attempt that insanely difficult test? (post edge)
(no, not called shot through a concrete sphere type difficult…) (The floating TNs allowed for chances… TN 31?? However remote it is possible and I have seen a few of those happen in my day)

*note* there is a difference between non-logical test ‘attempts’ and just extremely unlikely.

I find I was house ruling several rules to SR3, just so they worked how I liked. But honestly, how much reversion do you do before you finally realize you really want to play the other rules.

Done rambling I suppose.

Thanky for the ear to bend,
Claude
Lionhearted
The short and totally kick in the nuts answer : Simplicity
Exactly like the 6th world the 5th world goes around by one thing, MONEY, its all about the cash, cash is and remains (unfortunaly) king. With the glancing intrest for RPG's the corps must put something against the amounting losses, and that weapon is called "appeasing the masses" by offering realism (and somewhat more complex rules) Shadowrun is able to appease a greater general crowd, The business idea is that any Average Joe is supposed to be able to walk into his nearest retail store buy an ex of Shadowrun and without devoting more than the acceptable mainstream time on passtime activities *shivers* be able to understand and play it.. We my friend, are victims of commerce
Mr. Unpronounceable
0 dice is a good way of saying "try something else!" Honestly, should a mundane character have any dice for his attempt to ressurect Dunkelzahn by clapping?


Variable health tracks have worked out ok for my group - it's a little easier to KO a meat-shield than to kill them, whereas it's about equally difficult for most characters. As for why massive characters can keep going with enough lead in them to drop a smaller character...well, that's how it works in real life, isn't it? Shooting a grizzly or a rabbit with the same weapon is going to produce wildly different results.


For a kick - look at the posts when SR4 was just coming out - lots of people were complaining that trolls had glass jaws relative to elves because they had a smaller stun track (1 less, maximum) ignoring that most things doing stun damage are still resisted by body, thus the troll is going to keep going much longer, even with a shorter track.




(p.s. what's with the spellcheck? suggestion for ressurect is acupressure, for Dunkelzahn is Garfunkel? Oi!)

Feshy
1) Of course the character can attempt the action. He just can't succeed. ;) If you want to pull off a one-in-a-hundred chance while under fire, that's what edge is for. If you've already used your edge up, well you're plumb out of luck. SR4 rule #3: Edge is important! (Right after don't taunt the dragon and geek the mage first)

2) Variable condition monitors -- in practice, this works out very similar to SR3. I didn't realize it at first, though. In SR3, you staged the damage down. A troll could cut damage in half with his body dice quite easily (sometimes, more than in half.) In SR4, he's likely to only reduce it by ~2 boxes instead. So the fact that he has an extra few boxes on the end of his condition monitor means that relative to the low-body character, his condition monitor is about as full as it would be in SR3.

3) Some people's bodies give up sooner, some hang on through unbelievable pain and trauma. That seems closer to life than SR3, to me.
Slymoon
Ok,

Granted this is a game, and that may be the default reason for why.

However, note my original post regarding:
QUOTE
*note* there is a difference between non-logical test ‘attempts’ and just extremely unlikely.


Clap-On ™ the Big D fits into that *NON FING LOGICAL* mode.
Taking a pot shot while wounded, in the driving rain at extreme distance fits into that; Blooding unlikely, but ya know stranger things have happened. Including skydivers smacking the ground from 30k feet and surviving. Having an extremely finite dicepool and or edge means that 0 dice and 0 edge = nevermind and go F yourself.



To the point of bigger bodies take more damage and so on. True, by logic they do. Rolling 2 dice for body resistance vs. 15 dice really has that built in ya know?

So does rolling identical dice but having more or less boxes.

Rolling vastly more dice + more boxes is a bit of the Milk Plus.


Hey I know you are stonger than anyone else in the work Magnus Magnuson, but hey lets strap this exoskeleton on you. Ya know its all good. because you can beat everyone anyway.

or if you rather, Sorry Mini Me, I know you are disadvantaged and your short limbs really screw you, but here carry this knapsack of elephant crap, because ya know you suck already. Why not.



note: im not angry, I just have a foul mouth and I'll try to curb it. In a bit of a hurry also just got home.

smile.gif
Cain
1) I agree with you, it doesn't work and it sucks. Fortunately, many people here report that Longshot tests are rare. The problem is that when they do occur, they tend to blow up in a big way; as evidenced by the -53 one-kilometer-out-to-sea shot or one-shotting a Citymaster with a flechette pistol.

2) Let's call a duck a duck, here. The variable monitor is just hit points with a few fancy added mechanics. If you think about it as Hit Points you can soak with, the concept becomes easier to grasp.

3) I don't like that one, either. But the benefit is apparently that you can keep going longer than others, not that you can keep going better than others.
Fortune
Keep in mind that each extra dice only averages out to one-third of a 'hit'. An extra three dice on a test usually only means one more success ... not all that big of a deal.
Mr. Unpronounceable
QUOTE (Claude @ Feb 6 2008, 01:34 AM) *
Clap-On ™ the Big D fits into that *NON FING LOGICAL* mode.
Taking a pot shot while wounded, in the driving rain at extreme distance fits into that; Blooding unlikely, but ya know stranger things have happened.


Heh - no offense intended - I just tend to go for the illogical extreme when making a point. In this example, if I was GMing - yeah, you'd have no chance to hit, but the guy you're shooting at would have no way of knowing that. He'd still (probably - I don't tend to run goons as suicidal, with the exception of chipheads or the combat-drugged) have to dodge, or otherwise react to the attack. It may even buy you enough time to clear out.

QUOTE (Claude @ Feb 6 2008, 01:34 AM) *
To the point of bigger bodies take more damage and so on. True, by logic they do. Rolling 2 dice for body resistance vs. 15 dice really has that built in ya know?

So does rolling identical dice but having more or less boxes.

Rolling vastly more dice + more boxes is a bit of the Milk Plus.


It really looks that way, but it doesn't play out that way. Remember you're only likely to get about 1/3 of the dice come up as successes - typical results for a body 3 elf (10 physical) vs a body 9 troll (13 physical) (assuming equal armor) is 2 more boxes of damage for the elf. When you're talking about getting hit with, say, 7 boxes of damage, the troll will only keep standing for 1 more shot. Add in the attacker's bonus die for shooting large metahumans (introduced in Arsenal - p. 161) and it evens out even more.

Admittedly, the troll is likely to wear more armor, but then that tends to shift his damage to the significantly shorter stun track instead (generally, he'll take roughly the same number of hits to drop him, but get KO'd instead of going into overflow.)
Slymoon
smile.gif

Thanks for the responses, on paper it does look very one sided. But in play is where it really matters.

oh and no offense taken.
crash2029
As to wound penalties, my take is the troll who just took enough damage to kill an entire platoon of marines and is still standing will have massive penalties because of the fact that he is still consious far after a metahuman mind is really able to cope with. After all metahumans [orks, trolls, elves, dwarfs] are still human mentally. And biologically. So if you can imagine still standing after taking punishment that should kill you then would it not make sense that you would be in massive pain and shock coupled with structural damage to your body that would compound to the point of making any effective actions on your part rather difficult? It's been expressed in literature that people who goblinize have difficult times of it primarily from the fact that who they were, their sense of self is disrupted as they try to assimilate the fact that they are in a different body. I would guess those out-of-touch issues would be magnified after going through significant trauma that their instinct tells them should be deadly yet they can still act through the massive pain.

The point: wound mods come from pain and loss of coordination, taking damage that should kill you [human mind] results in loss of function and whole lotta more pain and shock than people have any right to endure.
nathanross
I must agree that SR4 has made some strange compromises, and my reaction moving from 3rd to 4th was very similar, but since then, 4th has proven to be a MUCH better system.

1) I dont see what the problem is with automatically failing a test. Using shooting as an example, whos to say you could possibly aim when you are almost unconscious from blood loss, mental fatigue, and the opponent is hiding behind an opaque barrier. I see no reason why you should prevent the character from pulling the trigger (unless they are unconscious or their nerves are severed), but there is no chance of him hitting without using edge.

ABOUT EDGE
I feel that of ALL the things that could use house-ruling, Edge is most necessary. Not only is Edge far more useful than Karma Pool (albeit capped), by RAW it can be capped at 8 for humans at startup. This is hugely imbalanced and gives 64 extra dice over the course of a run. This is just too comfortable and players never really have to worry. The absolute best way to manage Edge, was proposed by Knasser I think. Characters start at 1 (or 2 for Humans) and it increases as such:

+1 10 karma 0+10
+2 30 karma 0+10+20
+3 60 karma 0+10+20+30
+4 100 karma 0+10+20+30+40
+5 150 karma 0+10+20+30+40+50

The character does not have to spend karma on Edge, but rather gains a point of edge when 10, 30, 60 ... is reached. If a character opts for the "Lucky" quality at startup, they would start with 1 higher a base (2 for metas, 3 for humans), and would still receive additional Edge at the same cumulative karma points.

I believe Edge should also be extended for use as "Lives". Meaning that in an impossible situation when the character truly died, they dont, and burn a point of edge. While RAW limits this to happening once in a character's career, with this revised Edge system, I think you can extend the original chart (or keep an imaginary tally of how much edge the character has ever received minus the edge they have burnt):

+6 210 karma 150+60 Character has burnt edge once
+7 280 karma 150+60+70 Character has burnt edge twice
+8 360 karma 150+60+70+80 Character has burnt edge thrice

I hope I have outlined that clear enough, I know we are talking about a lot of karma, and most runners may never make it that far, but I think this is a very good way of limiting the abuse of edge.

I know I am disrailing somewhat from the original post, but while we are on the subject of Edge, the Longshot rule must be addressed.

QUOTE (Cain @ Posted Yesterday, 08:37 PM)
The problem is that when they do occur, they tend to blow up in a big way; as evidenced by the -53 one-kilometer-out-to-sea shot or one-shotting a Citymaster with a flechette pistol.

No rules should ever be taken as law, and should always be filtered through the GM's and the player's since of reason. Some things are just not possible. Im pretty sure that no area on a Citymaster is vulnerable to Flechette pistol. Maybe an AV or APDS round could penetrate a weak spot, but the BB's or whatever Flechette is being fired do not have the mass, momentum, or internal structure to pierce through vehicle armor, hell it is hard as hell for it to pierce body armor, how could it possible pierce through Tank armor.

As for the out to sea shot, thats a bit harder to deal with. Depending on the weapon, you can rule it out as being an impossible shot due to trajectory, or if it's visibility modifiers that are creating impossible odds, have the GM roll dodge with proper odds, aka, 36+ dice. There are reasons certain things dont happen.

Always interpret the rules.

2)As for SR4's Hit Poi... Condition Monitor, I had the same gut reaction when I first read about it. 'That isn't Shadowrun!' But to be honest, it really is just like SR. Nothing has changed. Having 1 box less to 5 blocks more has so far made no difference. Guards still fall like rain, Troll or not.

Wound modifiers also arent that bad. Sure a troll will keep going even with 2 dice less than a equally close to death human, but he has taken more boxes to get there, and my isnt he taking drugs? Kamikaze/Nitro the pain away.

Please post your other concerns, or visit Knasser and Serbitar's websites, they are the best houserules Ive yet to find for SR4

http://www.serbitar.de/stuff/SHP.pdf
http://www.knasser.me.uk/
knasser

Thank you very much for the namecheck, Nathanross. My original reason for the Edge houserule (and I should say that I've only ever made house rules when I've really felt I had to). was more for flavour reasons than game balance. I wanted to ensure that my game preserved the gritty vulnerability that suits Shadowrun so well. Starting people off with low Edge ensures that they players begin thinking about tactics "from an early age" and get into the habit of relying on their abilities and not "luck." But the fixed progression can be positive for game balance too if a GM feels the need and it gives players an increasing level of insurance for the amount of time they have invested in the character. My intention is that once a character burns Edge to survive, it doesn't get replaced - i.e. they have a "dead point" and never reach the same level that a character that hadn't burnt a point would reach.

It definitely changes the feel of the game and I'd love to see a rule like it be given as an option in the Shadowrun Companion. You can obviously adjust the progression rate to suit.
Cain
QUOTE
No rules should ever be taken as law, and should always be filtered through the GM's and the player's since of reason. Some things are just not possible. Im pretty sure that no area on a Citymaster is vulnerable to Flechette pistol. Maybe an AV or APDS round could penetrate a weak spot, but the BB's or whatever Flechette is being fired do not have the mass, momentum, or internal structure to pierce through vehicle armor, hell it is hard as hell for it to pierce body armor, how could it possible pierce through Tank armor.

In the Small Arms vs Tank thread, someone pointed out that there's at least two areas on a tank that are vulnerable to small arms, allowing a lucky enough shot to get inside. One is the hatch, the other IIRC is the primary sight. (I don't recall if the secondary sight allows such a shot.) Granted, it'd take something sort of a miracle to pull it off, but that's what Longshot tests represent.
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