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Crusher Bob
One of the things that has always irritated my about shadowrun is the minor accounting. How many bullets out of my stash have been used? How much do I have to order again? Thankfully lifestyle gets rid of the need to mark down how much you just paid for dinner, but there are still typically plenty of minor bits of accounting and list tracking required.

Another problem in SR is balancing the Y vs karma rewards (with the additional possible reward of contacts as well). Because different character types require different mixes of karma and Y to advance, the GM has to stick to certain guidelines if he dosen't want to shaft certain character types.

In addition, the different character types have different risk profiles associated with their character's 'stuff'. for example, if the SAM spends 150K on reflex boosters -III, he's probably never going to lose it. If the rigger spends 150K on a cool ride, it could get blow up by the next idiot with an RPG.

I'll put up a much more gamist accounting/reward system and see what people think:

The characters equipment list is the stuff they have 'at the start of each adventure'. This way, you don't have to worry about buying another 3 kg of plastic explosives, 29 rounds of AR ammo, 15 rounds of pistol ammo, 2 spare magazines, a new pocket knife, etc at the end of each adventure. You pay for 50 bullets on your character sheet, you only have to worry about using up those 50 bullets during this 'adventure'; at the beginning of the next one, you'll have 50 bullets again.

There are no more karma vs Y rewards. All rewards are solely in BP, that you can spend to advance your skills, magic, etc or convert to Y to buy stuff to put on your character sheet. Contacts are also bought this way.

To represent stuff that is just procured for a particular run, the GM assigns a budget (based on the run, the capabilites of the group, etc) for the runners to acquire 'cool stuff' for this particular run, or just pay bribes, or smugglers to transport the group over borders, or whatever.

interesting idea. Personally I like the current system. It allows me to award, nuyen.gif or karma or both. Sometimes a missions/job/whatever will be nuyen.gif heavy but karma light or vice versa.
I typically try to, over the long haul, try to assign 2,500 nuyen per karma I award, which seems to work out fine. The fact is, every character needs karma, and every character needs nuyen. The hacker may need more nuyen then karma to start, but there still is no shortage of ways to spend karma(start buying qualities if you must), and the magician can always save up their nuyen for a better power foci.

That said, I have been known to allow to trade nuyen and karma, usually at horrible rates. I typically charge around 5,000 nuyen for a point of karma, and 1 karma for 1,250 nuyen(and the player has to somehow explain how this worked out). If my magician really wants that next initiation grade, or the hacker really wants that rating 7 program just posted on the shadowsea, they can get it.
If you want to house rule equipment, you might want to take a look at Spycraft's gear system.
The fact that the potential for loss varies so heavily by archetyp irks me as well, but I don't think taking away the possibility of loss completely is a satisfying solution. As a player, I like to be able to lose horribly (and equipment loss is part of that), as that makes winning all the more satisfiying.
I'd love to find a good way somewhere in the middle...

And to make rewards fairer, we've always allowed trade of money for Karma and vice versa (we'll do the official 2500:1 ratio in 4th).
Well, in terms of simulationsim, I can see people screaming bloody murder. This kind of standardizing rewards and such is part of what made lots of traditional gamers hate D&D 4e. For my part, I'm internally conflicted about it. It sounds easier, and it sounds more fair, but I don't know if that it makes it more fun... In fact, one of my biggest complaints about a game like D&D is that I have nothing to lose -- my characters can always just charge in, get whacked down to one hp, get healed up, and go on. In Shadowrun, part of the calculus is how much expensive ammo I use, how much I risk my shiny toys... I agree it's unfair to the rigger that he always has to risk more investment than anyone else, but if you completely remove the risk, where's the fun in that? So he can crash his car every adventure and no biggie? Part of the risk of being a rigger exists to offset its advantages -- nobody else can move as fast, or wield as many recoil-free weapons of war...

So I guess overall, I wouldn't use it. I don't like SR house rules that try to "equialize" the archetypes. They were created unequal, and that's just fine with me, because nobody is forced to pick a particular archetype. And, in fact, the most potent characters are the ones who mix archetypes effectively. The best thing about this idea though is that it doesn't single out one archetype for a boost. The silliest house rules IMO are the ones that boost "samurai," because all they do is give adepts additional reasons to buy cyberware and start off even more beefy, meaning that they eventually pwn samurai even more than they already would have. I guess my main worry would be that mages could forego all useless money awards and advance a lot faster, and that would make them outstrip the mundo characters very quickly. Even though mundos don't have as much thirst for karma, they need both karma and cash to advance. Mundanes can't ignore karma and still advance steadily in power, because skills are so expensive. But mages can ignore cash and become gods at a pretty sick rate... Slow advancement is virtually the only thing making them balanced! So I'd look out for whether this rule shifts it too far in their favor.
Crusher Bob
I am sort of worried about very lopsided exchanges (i.e. all 'money' or all 'BP'), but was hoping for a bit more discussion than, "well, maybe that won't so well."

Assuming we are using Franks BP advancement system (@ 1 BP = 5000 Y).

Assuming that the game must stay reasonably unbroken up to 600 BP (250 BP worth of advancement)
(this would be around 40-60 runs or game sessions).

A normal BP + Y reward over the same game-space would be something like 125 BP and 625,000 Y (half/half BP an karma)


does anyone else want to try crunching the numbers to see what sort of extremes you can arrive at?
Actually, I believe that in FrankTrollman's system, 1 BP = 7,500 nuyen.gif.
"Legend of the Five Rings" has such a "refreshing core gear" rule - you essentially have your base gear plus a certain amount of cash that's constant from session to session. The explanation there is that you're a samurai, you don't actually care about "stuff", and you have a lord who supports you.

That doesn't translate well to Shadowrun because (i) Runners care very much about "stuff" and (ii) Shadowrun is an extremely gear-dependent game (the same character builds with different levels of gear will have dramatically different levels of effectiveness).

It's a hassle to keep track of ammo, but ammo *matters* - a LOT. Consider APDS ammo - it's costly, but more than that it can be hassle to find; you need connections, have to negotiate, it's a problem if you're caught with it, etc. Having a supply of APDS ammo "refresh" from session to session removes a constraint that gives Shadowrun its gritty, on-the-edge feel ("okay, going to meet my arms dealer - I hope it's not a sting/trap/rip/whatever")

I can see a case for making mundane equipment of less that availability 4 "refresh", though, for ease of bookkeeping.

QUOTE (Fortune @ Dec 21 2008, 04:46 PM) *
Actually, I believe that in FrankTrollman's system, 1 BP = 7,500 nuyen.gif.

Actually actually he varied it according to power level / BP total.

That said if you wanted to do this I'd raise the cost of expendables. The other issue I see is that you are hand waving a lot of RP events. I know that small talk over biz is actually where a lot character and world development happens. If you want to remove that, I'd substitute something. I'd require RP setting up of the pipe line of the desired items. If you want to buy a permanent drone you need to negotiate "salvage rights" with a gang that holds a junk yard or some such.

Larme raises a good point about risk. I think you can reintroduce some risk by throwing down time back into the calculations. Sure a rigger /can/ rebuild there fleet after a totally wipe out, but that takes time.
QUOTE (WeaverMount @ Dec 22 2008, 09:40 AM) *
Actually actually he varied it according to power level / BP total.

Fair enough. I've only read (and usually use) his chargen rules. smile.gif
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