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The Baroque are beings that have been separated from reality. Because they no longer operate under the parameters of reality they can go beyond normal beings. The problem with this is because they are separate they lose there essence on a regular basis and must feed off the essence of others.

Now on to the rules.

baroques have essence drain and essence loss. essence loss is 1 essence per week.

new stat: Distortion. this limits a baroques powers in a similar respect that an adepts is limited by magic.
all baroque start with a distortion of 1. distorion cost the new rating in essence to raise.

baroques burn essence to recreate adept powers,cyberware,bioware,nanoware,weapons,and gear. when they recreate these things they lose the essence permanently.

a baroque cannot burn essence higher than distortion except when raising the distortion.

baroque powers
the essence cost is the same in power points for the adept powers and essence loss for ware. critter powers cost 3 essence, and free spirit powers cost 5. (per gm discretion)
a baroque cannot have more powers than distortion. a power cannot have a higher rating than distortion.
a baroques power manifest physically in a noticeably disturbing way.-1 die per essence spent for charisma linked tests.

the essence cost is .5 per dv or ap and .1 per rate of fire. bulles cost .01 per bullet. baroque weapons can affect astral forms.

baroque have a unique regeneration power. they regenerate 1 box of damage per.1 essence. if a baroque is effectively killed before regenerating they regenerate all damage and lose 1d6 essence and 1d6 baroque powers.

a few unique baroque powers

baroque mask essence cost 1/rating

each rating of this power allows a baroque to hide one baroque power negating its negative modifier to charisma tests.

astral siphon essence cost 5

with the astral siphon a baroque can absorb essence from the astral plane generate background count equal to its distortion and last for 1 minutes per negative essence. the max background count cannot exceed 5.

baroque siphon 1/rating

the baroque can create an object that gathers essence from the astral plane at a rate of 1 per rating per day. the object cannot be moved and must be rooted in place in order to function.

sephira creation 5

the baroque can create crystals that hold a baroque power. the crystal can be merge with anything giving that power to its host. baroque weapons and gear can only be separated bodily from the baroque by classifying it as a sephira .

i think ive covered everything but there is a good chance i havent. any questions or comments?

Completely broken, because ware no longer costs money. This is especially relevant as to bioware, because bioware's low essence is balanced by its very high cost in money. If you make the cost 0, then you basically have free, hyper low essence implants.

For instance, whereas wired reflexes 2 cost 3 essence, and the adept power costs the same in power points, Synaptic Booster 2 costs just 1 essence, but has the extreme disadvantage of costing 100,000 nuyen. Why would a Baroque ever replicate any other kind of enhancement? They get all the benefit at 1/3 the power point cost of anything else. That's a real no brainer.

Plus, what about availability? Many pieces of cyber are limited by being extremely rare and usually highly illegal. And these guys can just poof them out of nowhere?

And what about cyberlimbs? If a Baroque replicates a cyberlimb, it's only got a set essence cost no matter how much customization or how much capacity of upgrades you give it. Under your rules, they could replicate a cyberlimb with maxed out customized attributes on every stat, and then fill it with capacity-filling mods that would be free, since they don't cost any essence, and these guys don't pay nuyen for their upgrades.

And then they can have guns that hurt spirits? That's just too far. The bullets costing essence balances them somewhat, but these guys can just suck essence as they please, so not really. And that's not to mention that they can choose the DV of their weapon, meaning that in theory they can be infinitely powerful.

Now, my comments apply primarily to game balance. I think the idea is sorta cool. It could use some more fleshing out with flavor text and suchnot, like why these beings exist, and what they look like, and how exactly their powers manifest. It could work just fine for NPCs, baroques could be stirring things up on the PCs home turf and they have to discover and stop them. But if you want them to be PCs, you'd need to play your own custom world version of Shadowrun. I think these guys would actually be a pretty sweet basis for an alternate reality game, where there are a variety of other races that are just as broken as they are. I just think that if you plop this race into Shadowrun as player characters, they'll instantly break the game.
QUOTE (Larme @ Mar 26 2009, 09:09 AM) *
Completely broken,

I would have said
Completely Baroque-en. But we are all different.
they were originally created for 3rd edition and worked better under it than in 4th.

the main balance factor is that baroques lose essence whenever they are hurt. ive play tested them a lot in 3rd edition (with slightly different rules) and they work fine. they are more geared towards npcs or high powered pcs in high power games. in sr3 the differences between ware was a bit more defined so it worked better. when i play tested them with my players they were better off as normal people half the time. probably a mental thing because they generally saw themselves as immortal and died because of it. also a baroque has to regenerate using essence if the run out of essence to regenerate the die.

they also make excellent recurring bad guys.

i see were you are coming from. the whole reason this got started was we wanted something new to fool around with.

thats something i forgot to put in was that the essence cost for ware accessories and such is the capacity it takes up. i havent actually played sr4 so i dont know how much that has changed.

my original rule set is still on here for 3rd edition if anybody wants to look at that for comparison.

also to be noted my group does not have ,much regards for balance outside the sr3 raw.

one of my gm friends that ran 4th took and adapted my original rules and play tested them for awhile. he said that he thought they worked better in 4th because of the stat caps. not really sure what he was getting at though.

in theory yes the baroque can become phenomenally powerful but in all the games ive used them in they rarely get better than a good sammy or adept. i have actually had baroques die from distorting to often and/or not feeding enough. aswell as being shocked to death by tazers. burned to death and just straight up gunned to death. your street sammy got shot? the mage pulls him over and works on healing him with magic and what that doesnt cover the first aid check usually will. a baroque gets shot he just lost a chunk of essence. and remember it takes time to drain essence .

of course your mileage may vary.

edit: ive also ported them with much success to other games such as dnd3.5,ogl steampunk, and maelstrom storytelling including the story engine in general. i have to say as far as how well they work its between sr3 or ogl steampunk.
Why bother to do any of this ??

Just do it properly.

Play HERO, GURPS, FUZION or other points based RPG.

Or do what the SR 4 developers did and use the White Wolf world of Darkness rules, giving you access to any of their sourcebooks.
Removed for stupid. (Apologies if a double-post/quick bump is terrible etiquette.)
It seems badly unbalanced to me for either edition.

Instead of having to initiate or having a hard cap on available essence, essence can just keep going up. There's no nuyen cost on 'ware, either, so with enough time a Baroque can pile on anything and everything without worrying about cost. This seems like the adept on steroids: where the adept has infinite potential limited by karma, the Baroque has infinite potential limited by time available to drain essence. On top of that, they're nearly immortal if they keep up a decent supply of essence and regenerate damage. (Do they heal at all normally?)

The penalty of needing to essence drain barely qualifies. There are plenty of bums in the Barrens to drain dry, and in combat it's a ridiculously good way to take out any heavily cybered foes (i.e. all street samurai). The social penalties are thematically appropriate, but they don't tone down combat monsters. I'm not a huge fan of leveling huge social (or mental) penalties anyway, as they just cut off one type of roleplaying for that player.

I'd suggest several things to fix this. First, treat distortion exactly like magic. Raise it by initiation or equivalent or like a standard stat, not with essence. This puts the Baroque in adept territory. Actually, the price probably has to be higher to balance the fact that the "powers" themselves cost no karma.

Second, find a way to prevent free cyberware. This may be as simple as requiring additional essence or karma spent in proportion to nuyen cost, but the elegant solution would require real balancing and giving every piece of ware and every ability a new Baroque name and specific Baroque cost.

Third, take out regeneration or make it take a long time so it's effectively just faster healing.

Alternatively, you can ignore all this and play with an all-Baroque team. Balance really means two things: no players feel useless and unhappy, and the challenges are fun. With all Baroques everyone is in the same boat (although you might run into nearly identical characters as a problem), and then you get to throw very powerful foes at your overpowered bunch of shadowrunners. It's an interesting idea, but I think it would require quick wits in practice for the GM not to get the team killed or leave them yawning.

Whew. Enough text dump for ya?
ive had no issues with practical balance. you can be good at something without being a baroque or awakened. you can still be a lethal combat monster and so on.

i finally have somebody that has a good definition of balance. nobody feels useless and the challenges are fun.

and are games that involved the baroques have been balanced. it appears unbalanced mostly from the abuse that could be made. baroques are more readily abused than anything else. but in my experience everything in every system can be abused. so it hasnt been a problem. the main reason i posted this was for the general concept not necessarily as player characters. they do make excellent recurring bad guys.
Ya, well but look at things like your baroque siphon. When a player starts the game with one of such thingies he'll make a level of distortion and of that power a day just by sitting on his ass. After less then a week he'll even make enough to constantly raise those two and net a couple of essence on top of that daily.
That means that when half of your first run is over a baroque will equal an adept with a couple of hundred karma.

There's a difference between things that can be abused and things that are created solely to be abused.
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