I posted the mechanics over on rpg.net because I've seen discussions of both FATE and Shadowrun over there, but since y'all are my go-to chummers for SR4A I'd very much like your input as well.

The rpg.net thread is here: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=565956

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I'm doing something funky with Edge, attempting to steal the spiffy "narrative" elements of FATE and paint them over the "simulation" system of Shadowrun. Hopefully we'll get the best of both worlds: some narrative player control, but on top of a system that plays like a more traditional RPG. We're playing with this now, and I'll report how it works in practice.

I welcome feedback from people who have tried (or are trying) similar things.


The CHARACTERS spend a bunch of time doing planning. The PLAYERS decide what the specifics of that planning was during the course of a run. These LEGWORK dice rolls are the limits of the player's narrative discretion.

You make four legwork rolls at the start of a run. Runs can span multiple game sessions, or not. You can spend an edge point on a legwork roll.

Record the number of hits for each category to represent the preparation you have done for the mission.

During a run, you can spend hits from any one category to compensate for non-combat failures. Spend hits on a one-for-one basis to avoid failure: if you get 1 hit on a threshold 3 test, you may spend 2 legwork hits to succeed on the test.

You can also spend a legwork hit to make a minor declaration, which usually means you get to resolve an environmental ambiguity in a favorable way. For example, if you wanted to take cover behind a stack of building materials at a construction site, you could make a minor declaration that Yamatetsu now requires that all interior ceiling tiles be reinforced with kevlar, ever since an executive on the 3rd floor died due to a stray bullet from a shoot-out in the lobby.

Minor declarations can also grant temporary equipment, if that equipment is cheap and could plausibly be available.

Note that you can only use legwork hits for stuff that is related to your mission. Pursuing targets of opportunity can be rewarding, but you're going to be relying entirely on your own skills to deal with the unexpected.

Right now we're using these categories:
  • Matrix - Hacking stuff. Possible uses are cameras near the site of the run, passwords stolen from the wires, a server with a backdoor you just installed, etc.
  • Legal / Historical - Pure research. Given how many different overlapping jurisdictions there are in the sixth world, this ought to have a lot of latitude.
  • Social - Everything from seducing a target's secretary to being old schoolmates with the target's personal trainer.
  • Magic - This may relate to the nature of the mission site's background count, or perhaps there are spirits with an interest in some aspect of the mission, or maybe there's some other para-natural critters involved.

Getting Edge
The most edge points you can have at a time is your Edge attribute, or 3, whichever is higher.

  • Free Edge - You can get free edge points back at the start of a run, before you roll for legwork. If your edge points are below 3, you can set them to 3. If your edge points are 3 or higher, keep what you have.
  • Aspects - The reward for accepting a compel is a point of edge. Conversely, you can ignore a compel by spending a point of edge.
  • Being Awesome - This will happen infrequently (less than once per session), but you should be awesome all the time anyway.

Spending Edge
(Note that most of these are from the SR4A Core book.)
  • Before a Test - Add your Edge attribute to your dice pool. All dice get the spiffy reroll-on-a-6 perk.
  • After a Test - Roll your Edge attribute and add any successes to the test. Only the edge dice get the spiffy reroll-on-a-6 perk.
  • After a Test - Reroll all the dice that didn't score a hit. This can negate a glitch.
  • Go First - You go first for one initiative pass. If two combatants spend edge for this at the same time, they go in initiative order first, then everyone else goes.
  • Extra Pass - You get an extra initiative pass. This is the only way to act 5 times in a round.
  • Long Shot - You can attempt an action that is normally impossible, even if your dice pool would be 0 dice. If the action is in line with one of your aspects, you may add your Edge attribute to the dice pool.
  • Aspects - You can ignore a compel.
  • Overcasting - You can overcast (or oversummon). If you are overcasting in line with one of your aspects, add your Edge attribute to the Spellcasting (or Summoning) test. (Why did I make Overcasting cost edge? So I have an excuse to not make NPC mages overcasting all the time, or even at all unless they're named meat.)


These are optional. Have as many or as few as you want. I recommend no more than three to start out with, because otherwise I'll probably forget some of them.

  • Race - Your race is an aspect, and may be compelled since the Sixth World is full of racists and jerks.
  • If your character has a code of honor or a behavior quirk that you intend to role-play, you might as well make it an aspect so you get rewarded for it.
  • You can change these any time between sessions.

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I'm trying to think of ways to get rid of most Qualities and replace them with specific Aspects. Some are easy, like Ork Poser, but what about the ubiquitous allergy / addiction levels?

Cheers, -- N