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Mana Child
Hi, i bought the shadowrun 3rd edition core rule book some 6 months ago and remember reading the first 100 or so pages of it and being completely and utterly confused. The only other experience ive had in rpg is 10 years of dnd.

Are there any particular methods i can use to make learning shadowrun more simple or a step by step way of learning it more easily.

in other words Help!!!!
Start simple.
Try character creation first. Read the rules, read the examples, try to make a character.
Try skill rules. E.g. cracking a maglock.
Try combat rules. A bit of melee, a bit of ranged combat - first with pistols, later automatic weapons.

Once you've understood these elements you are ready to play a mundane character.

Magic, Matrix or vehicle rules are only important if you plan to be GM or actually use them as a character (playing a mage, decker or rigger).

An read all the background stuff in the book so your characters makes sense in the world of Shadowrun.
The easiest way to learn Shadowrun is to have a good GM walk you through an introductory adventure. I'm in the Seattle area, and am happy to help out new players and GMs in my area. In fact, I'm running a demo this Saturday at a local game store. You may find GMs or players in your area that can help.

Reading the books is a difficult way to get started.

Use existing sample characters from the book as you try to learn. Ignore character creation rules until you know the game enough to want to try something different from the pre-made characters.
Mana Child
no one plays shadowrun in my town i was thinking of getting into a game via thread or forum.
Your town=? Check on these boards, you may be surprised.
Then again, depending on where you are, you may not be.

Here is a link to the Forum for finding GMs and players in your area. GM/Player Registry

Here is a link to a thread that includes an example of how a combat turn works. Combat Turn Example (3rd reply)

The best type of character to start with is a Street Samurai. In a beginning game if you think only about who to point your gun at and when to pull the trigger, you can still be effective. Let the other players around the table handle the negotiation for more money, and the legwork where you talk to contacts to learn more information. A good GM will allow you to be effective with this, and won't try to trip you up with complicated obstacles.

/Edit: Ignore rigging, decking, magic, vehicles, spirits and dragons until you can walk, talk, shoot and hit. Your character should spend 99% of his time walking and talking, but because combat takes so long to play out, YOU will spend half your time shooting, dodging, ducking and running.
We could probably help with a walkthrough if we actually knew what specifically you find confusing.
Summary of basically all the rules - roll a number of D6 equal to the rating of whatever stat, skill, equipment you are using, against a set target number, based on certain modifiers (AD&D has modifiers that work this way, so you know what I mean, right?). If the number is higher than 6, re-roll any 6s you rolled and add the result.

There's some debate over whether target numbers like 7, 13, 19 etc should actually exist, or be lowered or raised by one cos obviously if you rolled a 6, 12 or 18 you'd automatically succeed, but I'll leave that for wiser people to debate the rights and wrongs of and just say that in our game we generally rule against the players if there's any doubt and that increases those numbers to 8, 14 and 20.

The number of results you get equal to or over the target number is how well you've done whatever it is. Sometimes the target/opponent gets to roll to resist or impede you, and in those cases they have a target number. You work out who has most successes and by how much, and go from there as to the result.

That, (much simplified) is how to remember what's going on. After that its just getting to grips with what to use when, just like AD&D.

If its specific things you're having problems with, search the threads (particularly the Running the Matrix thread - its excellent) or ask away. Someone (usually several someones, and probably disagreeing with each other till they sort out who's right with quotes) will pipe up with an answer!
Mana Child
Well i understand character generation, combat (as long as ive taken the meaning of what it explains the right way)
and skills vaguely. Magic = WTH? Matrix " Rigging " etc are confusing and i want to play a mage.
I found what really helps is the nice cheep quick start guide. I tend to toss my copy at new players before they get to see the BBB.
Slightly off topic, but if you can't find a local game, there seem to be a fair few shadowrun games on online tabletop apps like OpenRPG or WebRPG.

There are also various places were you can search for games on them as well, although unfortunately i can't give you any at the moment (Completely forgotten)

As for the magic rules, if you're used to d&d, these are the main differences.

Spells are known (permanantly), not memorised. Casters basically just concentrate, and hopefully an effect happens.

(Game mechanic: Roll sorcery skill against target number, which is often either 4, 6, or an appropriate stat value of the target of the spell. They're in the spell desc.)

However, to stop people casting forever, shadowrun has Drain. Spellcasting is tiring, and can cause stun damage.

(Game mechanic: Roll willpower against some number calculated from the force of the spell halved (round down) plus a certain modifier, also in spell desc.)

There are various extra bits, but those are the general ones. (Spell pool, metamagic, etc, is extra)

In addition, shadowrun has various ways of summoning/controlling spirits and similar, which are not spells, but separate. Since these differ on magical traditions (Which usually always -cast- spells the same) i'm not going to detail those.
QUOTE (Mana Child @ Jan 28 2004, 01:54 PM)
i want to play a mage.

I wrote up an example of Spellcasting, one of the fundamental skills a mage uses, on this thread (near the end of the page). Hopefully that'll give you an idea of the decisions a character makes when he casts a spell.
I hope this okay, but here is an excerpt from one of my crib sheets:

Spellcasting [SR3 p181]: Spellcasting requires a Complex action, the actual effects will vary by spell.

Casting Roll: Sorcery (some or all) + Spell Pool (maximum of allocated Sorcery skill)
[SR3 p182] TN: Per spell

Resistance Roll: Defined by the spell + allocated Spell Defence dice
[SR3 p183] TN: Force of the Spell (reduced by armour if a Damaging Manipulation spell)
Inanimate objects receive no resistance test unless allocated Spell Defence

If the target resists with a number of successes that equal or exceed the casterís then the spell fails (exception is Damaging Manipulation spells where the victim must stage damage down to nothing).

Drain Roll: Willpower + Spell Pool
[SR3 p183] Power: Half Force (rd) + Spell Drain Modifiers +2 per spell sustained [SR3 p178]
(injury modifiers are not applied)
Level: Per Spell
Drain is usually stun damage though if the Force exceeds the Magic attribute, or the spell is cast when astrally projecting, physical damage is inflicted.

Spell Defence [SR3 p183]: A magician may allocate Sorcery skill dice (not used to cast Spells in that action) plus any Spell Pool to provide Spell Defence (maximum of allocated Sorcery skill [SR3 p44]).

Sustaining Spells [SR3 p178]: This imposes a universal +2 TN to tests.
Very good summary. I think its a good idea to give players (even if experienced) such sheets. Those page numbers allow you to find the acording paragraph very fast...
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