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I really like the setting, the atmosphere and the feel of Shadowrun. I want something different from the traditional medieval fantasy game. I vaguely remember having fun playing Shadowrun back in the 1st edition era (yes I’m old, but wait for the party where I’m still a 12 year old when it comes to games.) I really think a game where humans, elves, orcs and dragons can kill each other with magic and machine guns is awesome. I also like a lot of the mechanics.

However, I am a Hack and Slasher. I DON’T like a lot of role play. I don’t want to act out my character. I don’t want to have lengthy conversations with NPCs. I don’t want to have to track down a lot of clues and figure out mysteries and puzzles. I like tactics, but only those that end up with me having favorable odds to killing people. And I really like killing people and taking their stuff. If the majority of my game involves my character fighting and I win, then that is a successful night. If I get killed but did pretty well before I fell, that’s pretty great too.

This seems pretty contradictory with Shadowrun as presented. I do NOT want to change my perspective and desires. I do NOT want to become a Role player. I LOVE being a Roll player; that’s why I still play. If I have the choice between throwing dice at a problem to solve it, or acting something out, I NEVER WANT TO ACT IT OUT; I ALWAYS want to throw dice at it (preferably where I end up alive and the problem ends up dead.) Like I said, when I play I want to be a 12 year old boy who solves problems by beating them up, not by talking them through.

A lot of this seems contradictory to the Shadowrun system. It’s especially difficult since most of the time when you are fighting someone whoever goes first kills someone. If I go first, I machine gun you in your face until you’re dead and you don’t get to do anything. If you go first, you cast a spell and everyone is dead before they get to do anything. While it’s fun to annihilate it sucks to get annihilated. Also, being unstoppable is fun every so often and I think it should occur; but if you are ALWAYS unstoppable that’s boring.

So what are some ways to make the system work with those goals in mind? Does anyone have some tips or house rules to make Shadowrun more hack and slashy without the extreme lethality?

Just a note, if this isn’t your gaming style, please don’t jump in. If this offends you somehow, go to another thread. I’m just looking for ways to FORCE Shadowrun to conform to what I want out of a table-top game.

Thank you for your time.
I've always said that Shadowrun can fit a number of different play styles. I mean, most folks default to the special-ops sort of work, where you make a plan and get in and out any non-directed, uncontrolled violence. Then there's the Leverage-type teams that like to control the situation entirely and set up a scam to get the job done. There's also the brute-force types who just steamroll in, intimidate or kill the witnesses, destroy the evidence, and get out. There are undoubtedly even more types, or mixtures of the above (I suppose I could make a Mental/Social/Physical triangle graph if I was in a really nerdy mood).

So I think there's room in the shadows for a strong-arm team that specializes in killin' people and breakin' shit. Your GM should tailor your jobs to your team, ideally; I mean, nobody worth the title of Mr. Johnson is going to hire a team he or she doesn't think can do the job (unless, of course, that's the point ...).

Additionally, I believe the older versions of Runner's Companions had guidelines for alternative campaigns, like corporate-sponsored or DocWagon teams or what-not. I imagine there's a non-zero chance that such material might see print for SR4 at some point. Of course, you don't have to wait for material, you and your friends can probably figure out how to do a Seattle street gang, or a Central Asian raiding ring, or a Caribbean pirate gang, or something equally appropriate to your desired play style.
Do it like me:
See what the rest of your group is up to. Take Sneaking Skills and Stuff. If there's a problem, throw your SNEAKY Dice at it.
Wait untill something happens when stealth is not important anymore, then throw your combat dice at it.
It sounds to me like you want more "hitpoints", so why don't you simply try giving everyone more condiction boxes, start with x1.5, and tweak from there.
If you want to hack and slash then maybe your should ask your GM about running a Urban Brawl campaign. The campaign would follow a season of Urban Brawl and each combat sequence would be a regularly scheduled game. Very hack and slash.
Run a Criminal Syndicate campaign, as mobsters tend to use grunts to send a message as much as remove a competitor.
Run a Gang based campaign, start with gang level characters (200-300 BP) and play out the different turf wars and such.
Re-flavour D&D 4e as I am doing. Works out really well and gives you exactly what you want.

Party feels like punting on hordes of opponents -- send in the Corp Sec Minions.

GM needs a badass boss -- send in the Solo (who btw won't die within 3-9 seconds)

PCs want a bit of survivability -- you now can take several shots to the head and live and still have healing surges.

No more glass cannons!

Allows you to actually play scenes like you see in the Matrix!

Edit: Check out the game Neurospasta. It is a GSL game that is being developed that is Transhumanist. Can give you a leg up on adapting rules. It's not quite SR so you'd need to add in Magic but it gives you everything else.
Just play it that way. We started our last campaign in a roleplay sort of way but once karma and money started accumulating it pretty much turned into hack and slash shadowrun!

The system lends itself to it quite well as long as the GM is generous with the gear, cyberware, etc. and doesn't play up the realistic consequences of your actions (ie. the Star getting you on hair and fiber analysis) It also helps if he lets you carry ludicrous gear around (wearing milspec armour to meet the Johnson) and other such things.

Big guns, plenty of magic and you can go up against Jaguar Guards, Ghosts and Red Samurai all day!

Assuming you handle it that way the rules as written don't really need changing.

P.S. Plenty of magic healing is also required, as well as tons of pain resistance!
QUOTE (Ravor @ Aug 23 2009, 06:55 AM) *
It sounds to me like you want more "hitpoints", so why don't you simply try giving everyone more condiction boxes, start with x1.5, and tweak from there.

If we used house rules, I really like this one. We are tiring of "Hammers and Eggshells". After this coming Saturday, I fear we will move fewer SR sessions to play something less deadly, L5R First Edition.

/those of you who played L5R don't get confused there was no humor in the above.
Play 3rd edition, where you can take an uzi at point blank range and just laugh
I second the idea of adding more damage boxes. You could also change the rules governing the conversion of damage to stun from armor and increase the maximum armor allowed. Increase the money the characters make and gloss over availability to allow them all to pick up important ware like pain editors. I think those are good starting points.

A lot of the change will come from how the players upgrade and build their characters. Everyone needs to invest in serious armor, high Bod/Reac, and ware in order for the game to operate in a more HnS way. Maybe the GM could create a campaign in which the PC's start with certain gear/ware and build from there.
Are you the GM or a player?
This houserule is intended to allow for a typical SR game with a bit more survivability in characters (PC and NPC). It might be a good start for what the OP is looking at.

Physical Damage Track: Body + 10
Stun Damage Track: Body + Willpower + 10

You'll note that it is now easier to kill tough guys (orks, trolls, etc.) - and everyone else - with P damage than to knock them out with S damage. This is intentional and is meant to address the glass jaw Stun track problem. It's also important because of how often armor is dropping P damage to S damage.
QUOTE (Red-ROM @ Aug 23 2009, 07:17 PM) *
Play 3rd edition, where you can take an uzi at point blank range and just laugh

muahahahaha (...rattattattata...)
Stun Damage Track: Body + Willpower + 10

Say hello to heavyly armored mages O.o
Say hello to heavyly armored mages O.o

OK. They just might live a bit longer too. That's not a bad thing.
I was talking about Drain, mostly, but also if they can get armor higher than damage it's only stun again
And then the larger Stun track is needed again. Seems to work out.

No Edge for NPC's and Players start with bonus Edge for soaking/dodge. Done.
That way you ablate Edge first before starting to count down on the damage tracks. Make sure to refresh edge regularly. Plus it saves you a rules overhaul

The biggest choice will be which postapocalyptic area you pick. Because lets face it, as long as decide to play in a civilized area, team police will always outgun you.

Bug City (Bugs! No Food! Scavengers! More Bugs!) would be an easy pick. Africa (Warbands! Weird monsters! Ghouls! Corporate Fortresses!), the Philipines (Pirates!, Opressive Soldiers! Freedom Fighters! Dragon!) or Outer Space (High Tech! Doom! Alien 2! Hackers! Only one airtank left!) China (Ancient Artifacts! Warlords! Mystic Monsters! Karate Chops!) or the Barrens (Knives! No Antibiotics! Leather Jackets and a 80's Hairdo!) are viable alternatives.
Speaking of Bug City, would you say the Astral Chameleon property would help one evade FAB infection?
A simple House Rule might be to simply not burn edge to survive. Just temporarily. Of course this doesn't get around the glass cannon issue, but it does save you from remaking characters.
QUOTE (Tyro @ Aug 26 2009, 05:44 PM) *
Speaking of Bug City, would you say the Astral Chameleon property would help one evade FAB infection?

You only look like everybody else on the Astral, but FAB attacks EVERYTHING and does not care how you look.
That's easy! Just add some Movie Magic ™ and you're good to go.

It's all in how it's presented and the expectations of the players (GM's are players).

If you want to tweak rules...great...go for it. Max out Edge, refresh Edge pools every scene, bump up things...whatever works.

It's just a it in a way that entertains you!
actually me and my group got bored of classical ruuner work one day, so i tried something new.

they were hired by a larger merc corp which had a contract with the PCC to police some midsized cities near the calfree/azzie border.
it serves to the role playing guy as well as the action junkie.

the advantage was that the players cold keep their chars while playing the 'good' guys. since it takes place in a hot border zone it is open to escalation.....
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