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I was reading the CLUE files in the archive (wiping tears of laughter from my eyes) when I came across something that sobered me a bit. A PC was throwing a grappling hook onto the roof. They got it onto the roof, but since the character had not specifically said that they had tied the rope onto the hook, they just threw it up there without a line.

As someone who both GMs and plays, I regard this as not cool.

To me, a shadowrun is supposed to emulate a good action book/movie. Lots of action, cool moves pulled off (laughs and groans when they don't), stuff like that.

When a GM pulls something like the above scenario out of their hat, it just totally ruins the fun. I mean, it isn't even realistic. Unless the character in question has an I attribute of 2 or less, they're going to know they need a rope attached to that hook before they throw it.

However, sometimes a GM needs to be tough. In another CLUE case file, the characters forgot to bring parachutes when they were going to crash a plane into a stadium. Letting them get off after that kind of stupidity (and bloodthirstiness besides, this was to kill one suit) would make things easy and thus boring.

Where can we draw the line?
I know how you feel. It's like games that have a search skill. A GM asks "Where do you search? Where exactly?" or "How do you go about disarming the trap?" for any skill like that. How the hell do I know? I might be able to guess, but my Char is the expert at it. Just because my Character has a 8 in Biotech doesn't mean I know how the pancreas failing to function will influence certain effects on the heart. Same with other things.
Hm...this is a difficult question indeed, but one that I've developed somewhat of a philosophy about.

As a GM, it's your job to make the game fun. If your players aren't having fun, then you're not doing your job. No matter what...even if your players are stupid, bad people. However, it's also important that you be having fun. It all starts at the beginning.

When you begin a campaign, you must assess your style as a GM. Are you the kind of GM that has fun by screwing your players? If so, then your first job as GM is to find players that like getting screwed by their GM. Unless you can actually find enough players who get off on this sort of thing, you shouldn't be GMing in the first place, because your players aren't gonna have any fun.

If you actually can find that many masochistic players, have fun screwing them. I'm sure they will have fun too.

Likewise, if you want to run a realistic game or a power game, make sure to invite players that will enjoy that style of play. Let your players know what kind of game you run, so that they won't join or will join according to their preference. Then, you have justification for enforcing your style of play later.

Otherwise, employ common sense in what your players say to you, and be sure to give them all the relevant information. You can't possibly describe all the variables in a given situation, so stick to the details that the character might find relevant.

In the example above, it would actually have been the GM's fault for not describing the rope and grappling hook properly to the player (i.e. You take out your grappling hook and rope. They're not tied together). Since the character was taking out the grappling hook in order to toss it up on the roof, it would be relevant that the two aren't tied together. The GM, as the "reality filter" between player and character, should note this.

Employ the Golden Rule - would you be having fun if your GM did what you're about to do?
Well put, Grinzwilly. The hard part is when you have a mix of players (which is usually the case) who favor different styles of play. My own solution (if a character is about to make a bonehead move, like leaving parachutes behind) is to simply make a roll on the characters Intelligence, with a TN representing how obvious the mistake is. Flaws and Edges such as Abesnt-minded or Common Sense impose modifers on this base TN. This way, if they player doesn't pick up on his/her mistake, the "subconcious" of the character has a chance of bringing it to the attention of the player.
I like the idea of this thread. I recently tried my hand at GMing...with mixed results. The players liked what we were doing but I think it was because we're all friends and hve been PRGing for years.

That said, I often have to "rekindle" thier desire to play SR. Interest has fizzeled once already, which I accept only 90% of the responsibility for. The main complaits were

the Novacoke addicted Decker: "I don't get enough Matrix time"
The other players: "you get too much as it is"
I'm not good w/ the Matrix rules but I figured betweent the two us we could manage. Unfortunately, he doesn't like to do his homework so its like I have play Teacher too "did you do your reading?"
I've since asked him to make a different character.

and "What do you mean there are penalties for using Novacoke?"
He wanted a drug addicted character, so I let him have one

AND "Why did you shot me? I only have a pistol"
Me: "You just killed the Gang Boss" I was actully planning on the gang turning tail after that round b/c thier boss got cacked but there was one ganger left that had an action so I figured it was like a "Oh my God! You killed Kenny!! You bastards!!" sort of situation.

The GunBunny: "Every time we kill someone you send the cops after us"
Me: "You shot the StufferShack girl"

I try to throw alot of combat at them b/c that whats they seem to like the best. Everytime i try to get into char development, it gets derailed.

The Sam is actually the best roleplayer. He said he didnt want any contacts at Char Gen. And consistanly is antisocial.

Am I handling this wrong?

I'm the only one that has books but I've made copies of the combat section for them and offered to loan them out at any time but the only one that takes me up on that offer is the decker and he never bothered to read up on his chosen field. It kinda pissed me off.
CLUE files?
QUOTE (leemur)
CLUE files?

Get a CLUE here.
kevyn668, I don't think you're doing anything wrong, per se. The matrix issue is really a challenge. The best solution I've heard of is have an "assistant" GM to handle matrix while you handle the real world. My gaming group has no decker PC's, so we just hire out to get our info. You were right to impose penalties on the addict, that's the whole point. It's a weak spot, and if he didn't realize that, you aren't to blame. As for the gang boss, I doubt many gangs would have turn tail just because their leader died (unless they were a pack of cowards, which is possible), you were going fairly easy on them tohave only one open fire. (Make them use those Social Skills! They should have an alternative to shooting everything that moves. Well, in most cases at least wink.gif )

Out of curiosity, why did they shoot the stuffershack girl? Was she a threat to them? Or did they just not like her? If it was the latter, then you may have a group who just don't like anything but killing randomly, which is very easy to GM for: throw them all in jail, or kill them. Going easy is one thing, but they need to learn that combat isn't the sole point of the game, and senseless murdering will have the same consequences in 2061 as it does now.

Fresno Bob
Unless they're deep in a Z-Zone.
True enough, but you don't find many stuffer shacks in Z-zones smile.gif
Fresno Bob
Jeez Kevyn, sounds like your problem is your payers not you.

What you described is creepily like my group when we started.

Although, the drug addict ork decker in my game tried to log onin an internet cafe and do some bad belvue......when I had told him the cops were sitting 5 feet away.........

Yes what he was doing was obviosly wrong to the clerk, the cops, and the team that snuck out while the cops grabbed him.

(I wont go into anymore details than that)

Okay. Some players, never learn that violence isn't always the answer. Maybe they will get more clever with the violence but thats all. and then some players when you say "Hay, this aint all wet work, not all shadowrunners are gunnbunny mass murderers etc etc." will actually listen to you and reform....or find another group.

Anyway. Just try to talk to your players see what they want to do, if its sensless killing and the like, and thats something you dont dig, then try to look for another group if possible.

Hell I cant even find a new group, I have to drive 300 miles to my hometown to play with my old crew. alhthough i am slowly forming a new group. very very slowly.

bah, i'll edit this when im not so tired
Austere Emancipator
It's usually like that with a new group. It takes time for the players to get a clue, to understand the Shadowrunning mindset, all that. How much of SR have you played altogether? Have your other RPGs been mainly of the D&D Dungeon Hack style?

Had I started SR with my group before I had run a few of the more realistic and gritty medieval fantasy RPGs with them, they would certainly have acted just like that. But now they were used to how a world is supposed to work, and how I make it work, so there weren't as many problems.

Stay patient, they might "get it" after a while. If not, you can always change the Shadowrun world into one of full-fledged urban warfare, with most laws right out the window, and the PCs some sort of supervillains. Or, better yet, play some other game with them, and find another group to play SR with.
cool thread but Kevyn has perked my interest on the matters on new players to Shadowrun, both RPing newbies and old timers making the shift to the Shadows.
Gonna post up a new thread to have a hack at this one.
I don't think it's a matter of too hard vs. too soft. It's a matter of remembering that the characters might know things the players don't, while still having realistic consequences for acts of general stupidity. In other words, if the rigger is about to do something that is almost certain to result in his fiery death, remember that the character is a professional driver, and would know that the stunt he is contemplating is almost impossible. So let the player know that, too. If he does it anyways, then let the dice fall where they may.

Punish random violence and moronic actions with realistic consequences, but be sure to give the players enough information, and keep the specific characters in mind when you do so. A streetwise sammie walking down the street might know that if there are two gangers hanging out in front of the bar, there are probably seven or eight more inside. An ex-company man, though, would just see two street punks, and might not even recognize that they are wearing "colors".

Avoid being "too hard" by giving the players enough clues and descriptions. Avoid being "too soft" by letting bad things happen (not making bad things happen, just letting logical consequences play out) when they ignore the clues or their professional judgement to do something dumb anyway.
*nod* I think you put it best, Glyph. Remember that that players don't know everything their characters do, and what is common sense to a runner who grew up on the streets of the Sixth World is not common to most (if any) players.
Cool, thanks everyone!

I tend to take it a little easier than I should but they know I have the "kid gloves on". These are their first characters and I want them to make it through at least a few shadowruns. I know its not the best approach but its the best one I have. They're just feeling out kind of chars they like.

We have a de-briefing period at the end of our sessions.

Me: "what did we learn this time?"
Them: [thows dice at gunbunny] "Don't shoot the StufferShack girl!"
Sam: "having a wound SUCKS so ALWAYS get cover"
Me: *beams*

He shot her because she wouldn't tell him were her boyfriend (the gang Boss) was. So he "sent a message". All in all, it wasn't just "wontan killing" but they did shoot her in broad daylight in downtown Seattle. And didn't take the sec tape. I didn't really have much choice...

With the gang thing: they were already in a firefight.

With the Matrix and an Assistant GM: I don't have enough bodies as it is...there's a total of 4 of us. Once we had 5. Thats counts me.

I sort of bullied them into hiring a NPC mage (they didn't have one of thier own). That way I can say things like "Michael doesn't think thats a good idea" and "Michael thinks you should do more research"....Instead of "You don't think thats a good idea". But I have to balance that so they don't use him as a crutch. Basically I only use him if I think it would be obvious to a runner that something is a good idea or bad. He never suggests a plan of action. Unless its "how to deal w/ the enemy mage".

Shoot him. wink.gif

By bullying I mean, I zapped 'em with a magician until they got one of thier own...
You mean somebody doesn't want to play a mage that can get all those sexy Initiations and Metamagics?! Are they crazy?! eek.gif

Offer a small "reward" for the first person to make a good mage PC. Then give the rest who tried a smaller, yet appropriate, reward for their current PCs.
Like I said, we used to play That Other Game. Everyone really likes guns. And shooting people. smile.gif
Then send something after them that can't be hurt by guns, but is easily taken down by magic. *coughvampirecoughcough*
one of the best tools for harder/softer gm'ing are the dice pools. if your PCs are getting their tails whupped, start having the NPCs allocate to many cp dice to dodging; have the NPC mages allocate more dice to drain than they really need. if your PCs are walking all over the oppo, then squeeze every ounce out of every die you get get your grubby paws on.
QUOTE (tanka)
Then send something after them that can't be hurt by guns, but is easily taken down by magic.

Why? If they want to play with guns for a while, as it's probably somewhat new to them, why not let them have their fun till the novelty wears off?
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (tanka @ Jan 5 2004, 05:03 PM)
Then send something after them that can't be hurt by guns, but is easily taken down by magic.

Why? If they want to play with guns for a while, as it's probably somewhat new to them, why not let them have their fun till the novelty wears off?

The novelty wears off faster if they can't hurt it with conventional weapons (Read: guns).
That doesn't answer my question. Why spoil the players' fun when the system is new to them, and they want to play a certain way for a while? Why not just let them play with mundanes and guns until such time as they feel like moving on?
QUOTE (Fortune)
That doesn't answer my question. Why spoil the players' fun when the system is new to them, and they want to play a certain way for a while? Why not just let them play with mundanes and guns until such time as they feel like moving on?

Fair enough. Some players will never realize the options unless you begin forcing your hand as a GM. I for one never fully realized how much fun a Hermetic Mage with Gremlins 4 could be!
Oh I don't deny that. I would hope that the GM in question is having his players read up on the Sixth World, or at least has explained it in a good degree of detail.
I'd just give them the corebook. It's enough, and it gives them a better understanding of all the rules and mechanics.
I'd give them the Sprawl Survival Guide as well. smile.gif
I've got a couple of runner who also pretty much just want to play with cyberware and guns and atm they are enjoying it. The GMs i used to run with ignored the magic element so i've never really used it and am trying to get my head around the rules, which can be weird at best.

I want to move into some more magic oriented scenario's (i've been kind of ignoring most of it till now) but although i want to push my players i dont want to kill them with magic. whats the best way to start introducing the magic element so they can see its power but not actually get completely trashed by it?
My current SR group is one of the best I've had. However, when they started, they were flat-out the worst. I had explained how to play the game, but they didn't get it. They tried to play it like D&D. Needless to say, things went very badly for them. They horribly failed their first mission, one of them got caught on a security tape killing someone, etc.
Obviously, this was all my fault. Not because the run was too hard, it was a great run, one I had done a couple other times with other groups. I thought it was a good intro run.
The problem was, they needed to be taught how to play the game. I came up with a solution that I think was pretty dang clever. grinbig.gif
Their fixer contacted them and hooked them up with another running group. A good group. Three NPC's, they had magic, rigging, decking, and a good sammie. This other group had taken two runs that were both supposed to be easy for them close together (silly runners) and the first one had gone badly. Their mage was shot up pretty bad, and they had some light wounds all around. So they sort of "sub-contracted" the PCs to help them out with the second. (Better to get half pay for the run than let their rep take a hit by dropping the job) The NPC group had a skeleton of a plan, and lots of cool equipment and toys. The PCs got to fill in some clever details in the plan, but a good chuck of it was handled by the NPC group. The PCs got to "see how it's done", while still contributing in a vital way to both planning and execution.
Anyway, long story short (too late!) they became a great group of runners.
cool.gif That's a great idea, Moonhawk. Nazgul, I'd suggest somthing similar, have an NPC mage tag along with your runners, and have him get into a magical firefight, kick some major hoop, etc. Basically, use him to show them what having a little mojo can do. biggrin.gif
And there's probably a thread somewhere which can help you with your magic rule difficulties. Spellcasting works like normal combat really, except for the drain test - you use your sorcery or whatever as the skill, like you would pistols, and the spell is the 'gun' with its own stats custom ammo and effects. that's how I reconciled the way SR3 magic works compared to SR2 and it worked quite well when trying to explain those changes to SR2 players when we converted.

as to your players' styles, if they're happy, fine, let them get on with the guns and cyber. But remember, the rest of the world doesn't have to agree with them, and by underusing, or not using magic, you are missing out on one of the most vibrant and distinctive parts of the game. Your players will thank you if you can get them interested enough to test the waters. Have some showy special effect type magic (maybe they witness a heist where the crew involved have a bunch of great form elementals just take the front wall off a building and carry the safe off, or something. They can all get caught and arrested soon after to make the point about keeping your jobs quiet and out of the news, but the team will still see the possibilities...) get their attention, and have them go to a meet, go through the whole rigmarole of discussing fees and so on, until the johnson asks them 'which one of you's the mage?'. When he finds out they don't have one, he walks away on the spot, as the job requires one. They'll see the value. Of course, that's dull for the players, so have another job or opportunity come up while they're there or very soon afterwards, even if its just a random encounter at the meet place where they can kick some ass to feel good. They'll still remember that they lost out on a score cos they didn't have a mage.

Do that for a while and you can bet one of them will either want to play a mage or will feel they have to and play one for that reason. Even if the latter is the reason, they'll probably start to enjoy it cos mages are just too frickin' KEWL. Well, I think so. I love playing mages, shaman, wujen, phsads.. actually, I love playing riggers, deckers and street sams too, so it probably doesn't say much, but I think magically active characters have been the most fun overall.
sable twilight
I would not have a Johnson walk out, because I would think the Johnson should know before hand if the team includes a mage before even meeting with them. What I would do is have a slight lull in runs or runs that barely pay the bills, and then have the group's primary fixer (or whomever they sets them up with jobs) contact them. Have the fixer say her or she might have a few possible jobs lined up for them. If that grabs the groups attention, the next question from the fixer should be something like "So, have you added a mage to your team yet?" After blank looks or negatives from the group, have the fixer say something like "Too bad, the run I was had in mind looked like it would have been a cake walk and a sweet deal, but it needed a mage. That's okay I have this other job you can doo. It doesn't pay as nice and looks like it will be a real cluster frag, but I'm sure you can handle it. Interested?"

I would probably outline both runs just in case. You never know if the players might come up with some way to work around the mage thing (like say subcontracting out).

Or something like that.
Meh... If they don't have a mage, send a couple spirits after them and waste 'em. Once the party runs home with their tale between their legs (or don't survive at all), they'll figure it out.
The GM can play an NPC magician who becomes a member of the team. All astral scouting can take an instant of playing time, as the GM only has to report back what the magician discovered or the players can watch the magician's body convulse and die (yes, do it once or twice). The magician's spells can be designed to let the player characters take the lead. E.g. treat, armor, clairvoyance, fashion, etc. all cast on other characters.

Gradually educate the other characters on TN calculations for spells, Drain, astral initiative and movement speed, Conjuring, etc. Likely one of them will want to run a magician in a few months. When he does, you're there to be his guide for a run or two.

Award the magician slightly less Karma than other characters. Invest that Karma and make him better. Kill him off and replace him a couple times. One of the times you replace him, make it a Shark Shaman with Treat-Self and a tendency to go beserk. Allow the characters to kick him off the team, and to seriously interview his potential replacement. Later, when someone else steps forward and GMs a run, you get to run the magician as your own character, who has been built up over time, is a little weaker than the other team members, but is already integrated into the team.
QUOTE (Grinzwilly)

If you actually can find that many masochistic players, have fun screwing them. I'm sure they will have fun too.

Sorry I couldn't resist taking that out of context. LOL!! lick.gif
"You know what, instead of being flexible, let's FORCE them to get a mage or die, what a great idea!"
i think i just stated my thoughts....
then again, someone on these boards should have picked up what i feel about magic by now (best left to d&d, where it belongs)
sable twilight
QUOTE (Solidcobra)
"You know what, instead of being flexible, let's FORCE them to get a mage or die, what a great idea!"
i think i just stated my thoughts....
then again, someone on these boards should have picked up what i feel about magic by now (best left to d&d, where it belongs)

So why even play Shadowrun? Why not Cyberpunk 2020? Or GURPS Cyberpunk? Or Underground? I could never understand it when someone begins slamming a major aspect or element of a game they are playing, since there are some many other out there that are likely very much like the one they are already playing.
All good ideas, thanks. I like to keep it light, keep the runners happy and let them have it their way for a while to get them nice and interested then POW bring it on cool.gif

In doing it this way i had an NPC sammie running with them, but i think NPCing a PhysAd for a run or 2 and a shaman/mage is a really good idea. Also, spotlights idea on having them witness something but not actually be a part of it is an excellent idea

why not use magic? i know that wasnt addressed to me, but the reason i left it out to start with was so we could all enter the world slowly and gain an understanding of some of the key elements of the game, then progress up into other areas. I think we all get role-playing, combat, damage etc quite well now, so its time to go up a level. as i said, i like to start small and work up.
Tom Collins
As far as the to hard/to soft thing goes, I have a standard rule whenever I GM regardless of the system that ever person that plays under me knows well. "stupiduty will get you killed." I don't like killing off PCs, especially when players have put a lot of thought and time into their creation and development. I can (and have) fudged results in many of my games to keep a PC from dying due to a lucky hit from an opponent. Of course, one must maintain a sense of danger, so letting PCs be knocked around and nearly killed, while killing off an NPC or 3 generally lets them know that they aren't invulnerable, despite my leniency. Also, at some point in nearly every campaign, someone will pull some boneheaded stunt with lamentably predictable results. I also assume that their characters have some modicum of intelligence. You do not throw a grappling hook to another roof without tying a rope to it first. I've played under GMs that pulled stunts like this before in two different cases. I never went back for a second game.

Nazgul, sounds like you've got a reasonably good handle on things. We've got a new player coming in this weekend who's only RPG experience that I know of is D&D. He's made up a hermetic complete with a wide variety of offensive spells. I'm not looking forward to breaking him in, as I have the distinct feeling that his style will definately not coincide with Tom's prefrence of "smooth, clean, and quite" runs. Fireball is great in taking out a group of gangers, but it's worthless when I'm trying to slide into a compound without being noticed.
The 'Common Sense' edge is pretty handy if you're breaking in new people. Only costs a point IIRC and gives the GM ability to help out a bit. But as people have said, best thing is to sit down and have a chat about what everyone wants out of the game/style they prefer.
One thing I don't get:
"Only 1 percent of people in the Sixth World can use magic." (MitS, p 28). Most people haven't even seen a mage in their whole lifes. Well, on the Trid in movies and shows, yes, but not in real life. However, it comes down to the fact that there are really not many mages around. And of those mages there are quite a few in law enforcement and corporate R&D. How come there happens to be at least one magically active character in pretty much every runner team? Where do they get all those mages from?
I personally don't mind if there are no mages in my groups. They just tend to throw the games off balance. That may just be me though, being unable to handle magic well (not rule-wise, mind you - strategy-wise). I personaly think that magic is one of the major flaws in Shadowrun. It great for the overall flavor but it's a good deal too powerfull, in my oppinion. Now, please don't start flaming me. This is just my oppinion. If you like magic and it blends well with your games, great.

However, what I really don't get is how Humans are the minority in most runner teams and there is at least one, mostly two magically active characters on every team while humans still make up about 90% of the world's population and mages only about 1%.

Back on topic:
As for being too hard or too soft: It's really up to you or your players. I hate it when GMs are being too hard with things. After all, it's supposed to be fun. And if anything you do ends in failure, it's not fun but frustrating. However, if there's no real challenge in the game, it's not fun either.
I tried to get a group of new guys introduced and I was going easy on them in order to not frustrate them right from the beginning. The answer I got was that the game was too easy and boring. Won't make that mistake again...
I usually say that in my games actions have consequences and that my games are pretty tough, however I haven't gotten myself to letting a PC die even once. I need to work on that. I know it sounds harsh but I have the feeling that in every group you have to have at least one character die to teach them that you're not kidding and that they do have to be careful. Don't do it arbitrarily and all the time but if a character deserves to die (i.e. he did something stupid that would get him killed) then let him bear the consequences.

Sorry for this thing being somewhat unstructured. I'm having problems sorting my thoughts today...
Tom Collins
Just a thought. Shadowrunners aren't exactly a representative slice of the society. For example, humans may make up 90% of the population on earth, but they are also more likely to be employed by legitimate companies. Some of the megas are known for having relatively strict anti-metahuman hiring policies. As such, it is far more likely for a troll to be marginalized in the society, thuis put in a position to begin working the shadows. As for mages, it isn't inconcievable for regular groups to have one or two. How many stable shadowrunner groups do you think there are? I'm betting that they are not to common. Finally, if all of this still seems to upset your sense of balance in the world, realize that for every shadowrunning group, there are easily dozens of regular gangers and probably hundreds of SINless squatters and vagrants that have not enough magic to light a match (many of whom are also probably human).
QUOTE (Tom Collins)
Shadowrunners aren't exactly a representative slice of the society.

Exactly. We've had this discussion many times on the forum already.

Asking why there are more magically active in shadowrunner teams than the rest of the population is akin to asking why there are so many smart people working for NASA or in Silicon Valley than the rest of the population.

The simplest answer would be there is a great demand in certain sector for such people. Magically active people are rare, they can literally write the own checks if they are so inclined. There is a high demand for magically active runners hence there is a higher percentage of magically active runners.
I'd agree with Tom Collins' post (not the last one, but the one before it). And by the by, I oftentimes don't like the magic either, it's too The Other Gamish. And because of that, I'm running CP2020 (which does have a lot of equipment that SR is really worse off for not having, IMO).

I'm not going to force a party to do anything. I'm not going to give them worse jobs because they lack magical support. I will, however, not take mercy on them for their oversights. If they accept a run and there's magical support against them, they need to learn how to deal with it. If people die because they didn't plan well enough, then that's how it goes.

And in justification for myself, I actually kill off much fewer PCs than I'd seem to indicate. In all my time of GMing SR, I've killed off 3 PCs. 2 because they left the game, and one because he actually used his vindicator against the level 15 free spirit thing in the First Run book.
I can see the argument of having an above-average amount of orks and trolls (and maybe dwarfes) in the Shadow community (especially since the make up between 30 and 40 percent of Seattle's population).
But mages are in high demand in legal positions as well. Every corp needs tons of mages. Lone Star has a whole department for forensic mages. Mages are in no way marginalized. Quite the oposite: mages have problems fending off all the job offers once their ability is discovered. Most of them really have no reason to run the Shadows unless they where born there. And how likely is it that you notice your magical talent when born in the Shadows? Considering there are not many mages around to take a look at you in the first place, chances are pretty slim. Street Shamans are an exeption since they are chosen by their Totem. But looking at the percentages again, we may not have more than 0.25% Shamans. That is 1 in 400.
So, you have to have a pretty strong reason to go to the Shadows as a mage. And considering that there are not many mages out there (did we agree on 0.5% of the population who are aware of their ability?) and considering that there are only a fraction of those with a reason to enter the Shadows, I'm quite astounded how many magically active Shadowrunners there are. I would estimate about 25 to 35 percent of all runners I've had in my groups. That implies there's very few other runners and I would believe it's a lot more likely to run the Shadows if you're a fighter or a decker, both of which imply criminal tendencies (or rather: suggest taking a criminal carreer) than if you are a mage.

However, if anybody wants to discuss this in detail I suggest we either open a new thread or move to the "limiting the # of spellcasters" thread.
Herald of Verjigorm
Few areas are without some fear of magical ability. Most legal magical jobs include giving a ritual sample to the company that you no longer have any right to. This makes changing jobs for a better paycheck difficult.

As a runner, a mage is only working on contracts instead of a standard pay rate. This also means that the mage is not bound to any company except by an approved contract or a bad mistake on the job.
Tom Collins
Not to mention that there are metahuman mages out there. And just as there are in every other category, Im sure there are mages out there with a grudge against various corps or governments who have turned to the shadows to both make a living and get revenge. How about a mage who has commited a crime and retreated to the shadows to dodge the authorities. There are any number of reasons that a mage may not be able or want to hold down a legitimate job. For those that are in this position, shadowrunning would be a very attractive alternative for making money. So we have a pool of mages out there who are willing to work the shadows, is it surpruising that groups try to get them in and keep them? Just like the corporate sector, mages would be in high demand, thus any group that is reasonably sucsessful will most likely be able to get and retain a mage.

Of course, this is just the justification I use. Ultimately, there is no "right" answer since every GM is in charge of their own campaign world, and what is "right" for my world may make no sense in yours. grinbig.gif
QUOTE (Tom Collins)
Of course, this is just the justification I use. Ultimately, there is no "right" answer since every GM is in charge of their own campaign world, and what is "right" for my world may make no sense in yours.

True, so true...

I could go on and argue why your justification doesn't work in my world but I won't since I don't anybody would be interested in yet another rant from me (there've been too many from me lately).
Talia Invierno
I'd say spellcasting types would tend to gravitate to the high nuyen possibilities: be they legit ... or otherwise.
We have a de-briefing period at the end of our sessions.
- Kevyn668

Maybe I should reinstitate our old White Wolf convention. After each session, we went around the table. Each player who mentioned something their PC had learned in-game (no repeats allowed) received a bonus point.
whats the best way to start introducing the magic element so they can see its power but not actually get completely trashed by it?
- Nazgul

Bring in a low-powered spirit: in a combat situation to cover a magician's escape, or have it having been ordered to obey the orders of a mundane; in a non-combat situation as a way of helping the PCs obtain knowledge they would not otherwise be able to get - divination, perhaps?

To my way of seeing, there seems to be general consensus wrt the original situation? and I won't disagree! We all know (or are wink.gif ) players who have at one time or another seen violence as the only solution to every problem, whether out of unfamiliarity with the game, having fun with guns, or just determination to approach the game that way ("when all you have is a hammer ..."). And there will always be times when the game world just cries out for a societally harmless release of real life frustration.

I'll take a moment to expand the initial question beyond environmental factors (such as the grappling hook/parachute or extreme details of searching) to a different meaning of "too hard vs. too soft GMs" - incidentally, the one I was expecting when I read this thread title.

We all know that sometimes, even when the PCs do everything right, the situation, or the background could-not-have-knowns, or even sometimes the dice will conspire to kill.

To what extent - if ever - should the GM give the PCs a break?
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