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Full Version: Just got SR4 (finally)...Whats the main changes to it from SR3
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I finally got the SR4 corebook and several of the other books and haven't had the chance yet to get into them. So to assist me to (hopefully) gain the knowledge I need, can anyone (or everyone) help me out by providing the main areas in which the system mechanics have changed (and the RP aspect for that matter) from the previous edition?

thanks in advance.
The changes start at page 1, and I think you get through all of them by page 376

but seriously
Dice Pools have changed
Skills, and Attributes
The entire magic section is different
the matrix section is completely different

The fluff has some big changes.
And no, Sabs is not trying to being condecending. (biggrin.gif , don't now if you were Sabs but tone does not translate on the internet)

Mechanic wise, it is the equivalent of the changes from D&D 3.5, to 4th Ed. Though IMHO, much better done.

Dice pools were replaced with a skill+attribute mechanic, edge replaced the karma pool and team karma, magic rules are consolidated and simplified. AR and the wireless matrix are another big change. Also, hacking and rigging have the same rules set (yes you can hac a rigger's drone and take it from him). Those are the ones off the top of my head...
I was being just a tad tongue in cheeky smile.gif

the changes are huge and basically you need to read the whole book.

Wounded Ronin
SR is no longer starring Sho Kosugi.
It's really more Jason Statham these days. It looks serious just for a moment, but then the action starts and there's no way you can explain anything at all with conventional physics.
The biggest single change is how tests work.

Instead of a variable target number, tests are generally Skill+Attribute in dice with a static target number of 5.

Instead of target number modifiers, you modify how many dice you get to roll. Number of "hits" still determine success level.

Also, dice don't explode unless you spend Edge, which is more or less like 3E's karma pools. Rather than adding the results of additional dice to an exploding die (since this would be pointless given the static target number), exploding dice just increase your dice pool.

I would say the systems are just similar enough to be confusing. That is, they use a lot of the same terminology and if you're familiar with the earlier editions, your brain will try to fill in holes using those rules.
Thanks for the assist in starting out. Anyone recommend a good Character Generator? I know there are many out there but what does this panel recommend?
Hocus Pocus
One big change is when you play the game naked and covered in scented body oil. Its called the body oil bonus. +3 to all stats.
Knight Saber
One thing I found notable is that gear stats have been streamlined. No more weight (Encumbrance goes by "what's reasonable" instead of exact measuring) and no more concealability ratings (There's a general bonus or penalty based on the size of the item... all light pistols are -2 to spot, for instance).

Character creation is point-based instead of priority-based, letting you be a lot more flexible with what kind of character you make.

The economy has changed and a lot of things are cheaper, such as cyberwear (eyes and eye mods are in the hundreds rather than the thousands)... But you're also capped at starting with no more than 250K in gear. The only thing that really affects is riggers who want an airplane or helicopter. Everyone else can start with top-end gear suitable to their class.
Final dicepools matter less for the probability of success than the final target numbers did, so you can play it by common sense and eyball mods if you canīt find a table of modifiers.

For your character generator needs Iīd use the one from this thread.. If you are mathematically inclined, the statistics function of Feshy's diceroller might be useful for estimating the difficulty of certain tests.
The biggest change is in the matrix. it's gone from a seperate 'world' you plug into like "Tron" or the net, to something you can interact with in the waking world like Ghost in the Shell. I know there is a lot people don't like but it seems to be they finally fixed what was a major flaw in the game
They didn't exactly fix it. It has different issues, and it's still basically 5 rolls to your 1.

QUOTE (sabs @ Nov 1 2010, 02:51 PM) *
They didn't exactly fix it. It has different issues, and it's still basically 5 rolls to your 1.

This. And the fun stuff that people talk about like hacking an opponent's gun take upwards of 3 combat turns to accomplish whereas guns still kill in 2 shots. So the Street Sam/Mage will have cleaned up all the opposition before your hacker is finished with his combat hacking.

Character creation is a hell of a lot more flexible now. Although you have to use a lot of gentlemen's agreements in order to limit starting characters to not break the game (basically dice pools of 12+ start to get into crazy territory). No more negative mods for attributes for Goblinized characters is a pretty good change. They are just capped at lower maximum. Oh and there are 8 attributes now instead of 6 (don't know why but there it is).

There's no more fiddling around with variable TNs now but the basic rules result in lots of fiddling with dice pools so your players never know exactly how many dice they'll use on any given test (lots of counting of dice and recounting). I'd highly recommend using the modifiers --> threshold optional rule since that makes it so that your players always know how many dice they are rolling and against what target number. They just don't know how many hits they need.

Magic is more powerful in this edition than in previous editions because of the versatility of it. You just learn a spell and can cast it from Force 1 to Force (magic * 2). You don't have to learn spells at a given Force.

There was a big shift in the fluff of the setting. VCRs and Datajacks are gone or essentially useless. Surveillance and sensors are so cheap and plentiful that the setting feels more like Minority Report than Bladerunner. But this stuff is YMMV.
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