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Epicedion
So I've discovered that there's nothing more boring and flow-breaking than watching the group negotiator make a half-dozen rolls to pick up a piece of gear. And then do it again to pick up another piece of gear. And then do it again, and so on. Dice rolling can be fun sometimes, but high-threshold extended tests are dull.

Also I have trouble integrating team actions due to all the rolling -- it's easier to get one thing done at a time and then move on to the next person. And god forbid anyone other than the team Face tries to buy a hand grenade.

I find myself gravitating back toward the SR3 mechanic, where you worked your contacts to find a seller (one roll) and the success of that roll determined how long it would take before the sale. Then partway through you met the seller to finalize the price (one roll). Instead of having one character spend a solid, steady week tracking down a box of ammo, one character could arrange a bunch of buys and then the team would have to go and have all that cloak-and-dagger back-alley arms dealing fun.

Does anyone have a better way to do this?
Yerameyahu
Well, the obvious first question is "why are you buying gear in the middle of 'the flow'?" It's a downtime or between-scenes activity. smile.gif It's only 6 rolls, after all.

You can have a contact make these rolls for you; it takes more or less the same number of rolls, and you pay a surcharge. :/
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 23 2011, 09:17 PM) *
Well, the obvious first question is "why are you buying gear in the middle of 'the flow'?" It's a downtime or between-scenes activity. smile.gif It's only 6 rolls, after all.

You can have a contact make these rolls for you; it takes more or less the same number of rolls, and you pay a surcharge. :/


Mostly because of the team's propensity to come up with a plan and then need to pick up some things they don't have: "We have this really great plan, but to pull it off we're going to need axe, some plastic sheeting, and a clown suit!" Or a half-dozen Neurostun grenades.

And plenty of times they might have a few days to grab some extra pieces of gear.

Between that and the hacker setting up admin-level backdoors through Probing the Target, "a couple days" before the team goes on-site turns into a marathon rolling session. Throw in the fact that the hacker is the team negotiator, and we have one guy making an ass-ton of consecutive rolls. It's kind of clunky.
Fionnoulla
This sort of thing is why started programing a dice roller. Extended tests are a roll marathon in my group... it seems like people come up with extended tests to do just so they can do one.
Now that I think I have it working correctly I'm going to make them use it right there on my GM Screen (Laptop)

BAM! your 30 mins of chucking dice all over the table has be reduced to: Script executed in: 0.0646 secs
Yerameyahu
That's a good point: there are any number of dice rollers to speed that up. Some people prefer real dice, but that's life. smile.gif I think you're overstating the real time the dice take, but I agree that it does take some time.

As for house rules and things, I'm afraid I don't have anything. :/ Buying things on the black market *is* supposed to take a fair bit of in-game time. You *are* supposed to plan your runs at least days in advance (ideally, in theory, etc.).
K1ll5w1tch
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 23 2011, 07:45 PM) *
Mostly because of the team's propensity to come up with a plan and then need to pick up some things they don't have: "We have this really great plan, but to pull it off we're going to need axe, some plastic sheeting, and a clown suit!" Or a half-dozen Neurostun grenades.

And plenty of times they might have a few days to grab some extra pieces of gear.

Between that and the hacker setting up admin-level backdoors through Probing the Target, "a couple days" before the team goes on-site turns into a marathon rolling session. Throw in the fact that the hacker is the team negotiator, and we have one guy making an ass-ton of consecutive rolls. It's kind of clunky.


Well as far as rolling for slow probing hacks. Since time isn't of the essence just do a buy system and figure out how long it will take to get in with a minus 1 die each test. For the purchasing and time contraints use more roleplay to determine how long you think it should take based on how well they roll play using a 1 time oppoesed test as a guide. If you think the RP'd it well give them some bonuses if not then some negatives. I've never been fond of RP skills like con and negotiate, I feel they relegate "roleplaying" to just a bunch of dice rolls.
Yerameyahu
I think they more 'ground' roleplaying to a bunch of dice rolls. smile.gif If you wanted freeform RP, you wouldn't play Shadowrun, and you're supposed to be using the character's skills and abilities, not the player's. But, that's getting away from the topic a little. The Availability test (though certainly imperfect) is supposed to represent the way it actually takes time (and possibly contacts and/or bribes) to get stuff. Even if you abstract it into fewer physical rolls, or give 'stunt bonuses' for good RP, it'll still necessarily (and correctly) break the flow of time; you simply can't get some things instantly for a fair price.

I do agree that you can precalc things if you're willing to throw away the randomness that is the basis of almost all RPGs. wink.gif Seriously, sometimes it's a good idea. In fact, you can do better: whenever time simply isn't a factor, just fast-forward to the end of the 'found it, bought it' process. This has two major caveats: time is almost always a factor, and it kinda robs the negotiator/contact-haver of his moment in the spotlight. *shrug*
James McMurray
Why isn't the team's negotiator buying hits to speed things up? This sort of thing is why they put that rule in the book.
Epicedion
It's true, a dice roller would speed up the dice rolling itself.

I'm still not sure I like the conceit that it takes the character, for example, eight 8 hour days of full legwork to track down something like a chameleon suit. In in-game terms, it's like you have to spend a week walking into every back-alley shop and meet everybody selling "slightly-used" machine guns under the overpass to find anything you want.

Let's say you want a panther cannon. Availability 20F, Interval 2 days. Your crack negotiator has 12 dice.

Rolls: 3 5 1 3 4 0 3 3 (# hits, using a dice roller for quasi-realistic output)

So it takes 16 days for the runner to buy the panther cannon. 128 full hours of doing nothing but tracking it down. At that point, you've talked to so many people that most of Downtown Seattle knows you're looking for it. The SR4 system makes the black market seem like a lot of grindwork.

The reason I find myself missing the SR3 gear availability system is that it seems very network-y compared to the grind-y SR4 system. You call your fixer, convince him to call his contacts, he finds a seller, hooks the seller up with you, you hook up with the seller and negotiate price, and then you meet for the exchange. It naturally feeds into roleplay.
Epicedion
QUOTE (James McMurray @ Mar 23 2011, 10:35 PM) *
Why isn't the team's negotiator buying hits to speed things up? This sort of thing is why they put that rule in the book.


Buying hits functions below odds, so the only reason to really do it is to speed up dice rolling. Especially on an extended test, where lots of rolls tend to even out statistical hiccups. I don't like the idea of using that kind of patch just to speed things up, because it only highlights how clunky the standard method is.
Yerameyahu
I'm not sure the fluff *is* that it takes "eight 8 hour days of full legwork" (or "128 full hours of doing nothing but"). It may simply be that such inquiries run at a certain speed as the word filters around. You *wait* that long, but I've never heard that you *spend* that much time actively pursuing it.

As I mentioned, you can indeed get your fixer to do this for you. He takes a fee, and has to make the same rolls to find the stuff himself. Because he's an NPC, the GM is free to use buying hits to speed it up. Feel free to buy hits at 3:1. The 4:1 is deliberately sub-chance (a sure thing has value), but you can do what you want. smile.gif
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 23 2011, 10:45 PM) *
I'm not sure the fluff *is* that it takes "eight 8 hour days of full legwork" (or "128 full hours of doing nothing but"). It may simply be that such inquiries run at a certain speed as the word filters around. You *wait* that long, but I've never heard that you *spend* that much time actively pursuing it.


That's just the way it seems to work out in play. There's nothing indicating that you can overlap extended tests, so it effectively takes you out of service for the interval.
Yerameyahu
It's very vague, yes. On the other hand, does it say you *can't* overlap them (a favored argument of some RAW-crazies)? Heh, just kidding.

Anyway, that sounds like the GM's decision. The fact is, things that are illegal and/or rare do take time to find. No getting around that. If you have a great fixer, he gets his Connection bonus to his already-great Cha+Negotiate, so he will indeed find you things faster in game time. The GM is also always free to say that whoever you're talking to has what you need 'in stock'; just Negotiate in one roll, though I wouldn't overuse this handwaving.

But, I thought we were talking about saving physical real-world dice rolling time. There *is* another option in the book, besides 4:1 buying hits. "Quick Extended Tests" have you roll once, and basically use that hit count for every roll. Pretty wacky, yes, but fast. Hope your luck is good! Offer not valid with Edge, please make your players commit to this option before rolling.

So, you've got two separate issues. Real-time rolling is neatly solved by a roller program that stops when you hit the Threshold, instantly giving you time spent. (Assuming 4:1 buy, 3:1, or Quick Extended aren't preferred.) Game-time isn't really soluble; either you remove the grittiness of the black market in favor of video game 'Weapon Shops' (or action movie deus ex machinegun-a), or you accept downtime/prep-time. :/ I'm not trying to be unhelpful, but I know it's coming off that way.
phlapjack77
As long as you're not one of those RAW people, I'd say do what's the most fun. Imagining the character having to spend 8 hours every day to track something down, or just "put the word on the street" and wait the indicated time? What do the (other) players think?

Of course, everything tends to be situational. Would it make for a more fun 'run for the PCs to have trouble / have to spend time tracking down an item? If there is good fun to be had in the legwork and such, do it. If not, just handwave some time-passing stuff. If the item's especially important or rare, I could see some good RP'ing opportunities there, little mini-quests and the like.
K1ll5w1tch
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Mar 23 2011, 08:38 PM) *
It's true, a dice roller would speed up the dice rolling itself.

I'm still not sure I like the conceit that it takes the character, for example, eight 8 hour days of full legwork to track down something like a chameleon suit. In in-game terms, it's like you have to spend a week walking into every back-alley shop and meet everybody selling "slightly-used" machine guns under the overpass to find anything you want.

Let's say you want a panther cannon. Availability 20F, Interval 2 days. Your crack negotiator has 12 dice.

Rolls: 3 5 1 3 4 0 3 3 (# hits, using a dice roller for quasi-realistic output)

So it takes 16 days for the runner to buy the panther cannon. 128 full hours of doing nothing but tracking it down. At that point, you've talked to so many people that most of Downtown Seattle knows you're looking for it. The SR4 system makes the black market seem like a lot of grindwork.

The reason I find myself missing the SR3 gear availability system is that it seems very network-y compared to the grind-y SR4 system. You call your fixer, convince him to call his contacts, he finds a seller, hooks the seller up with you, you hook up with the seller and negotiate price, and then you meet for the exchange. It naturally feeds into roleplay.


I use it more on the connection of the contact if you have a high enough rated contact he can likely get it. However for the higher rated items he might not have it on hand and will have to call in some surplus from another source which is the time it takes to get the item.

So on your quasi roll it would take your arms dealer or Fixer, or whatever contact you have to acquiring black market items 16 days to get, said Panther Cannon shipped in from another source he has.
Epicedion
"The rules don't say you can't" is my least-favorite RPG argument of all time.

I guess part of the problem is that I played a lot of SR3, and I got really used to the TN/base-time version of Availability. Roll once, then divide base time by number of successes. Halfway in, make a price negotiation roll, then wait out the rest of the time, spend the cash and get the item. I got used to working in that methodology, and I guess I'm having a hard time moving out of it. There were obvious places where you could jump in anytime during that process to add in a little extra roleplay, maybe play up the tension of buying highly illegal goods in the back room of a smokey bar. The SR4 system feels like you're starting off in one corner of Wal-Mart, and you keep rolling to search for what you're looking for until you find it or give up, and then either buy it or leave. I know "feels wrong" isn't exactly a great indictment of the system.

The problem I have with treating your extended test rolling like it's putting out word with your contacts is that they've already included a system for doing exactly that, getting your contacts to buy things for you.

I don't know, I just find myself treating gearing up more as an annoyance of the system than a critical part of a runner's life.
Fauxknight
QUOTE (James McMurray @ Mar 23 2011, 10:35 PM) *
Why isn't the team's negotiator buying hits to speed things up? This sort of thing is why they put that rule in the book.


Agreed, use the buying hits unless it is something he absolutely has to get in a very limited time for mission reasons.

With this method you can just figure out a max availability he can get when he has plenty of time, and whenever the availability is that or lower thers not roll. Example, with 12 dice anthing availability 15 or lower will eventually be obtained by him:

12 = 3
11 = 2
10 = 2
9 = 2
8 = 2
7 = 1
6 = 1
5 = 1
4 = 1
1-3 = 0

If time is limited or the availability is too high, he can either roll or find some way to get more dice, like offering more cash.
PBI
Two things.

I came to RPGs from wargames and in wargames there are two basic philosophies behind writing rules: Anything not explicitly allowed is prohibited and the reverse. I've found that regardless of the genre, those are good ground rules to start from and it's something every game designer should include in the designer's notes in any product. Both approaches are perfectly legitimate, the trick is figuring out which one your game uses. Most RPGs tend to follow a variant on "If it's not allowed, you can't do it", if for no other reason than there are simply no rules to adjudicate certain actions. As long as there's some rule that makes sense in aiding a GM in determining a result, I say go for it.

I also firmly believe in GM fiat smile.gif

Second, I, too, prefer the TN/availability model of equipment acquisition. It doesn't drag things out a whole lot and it has ended up providing a lot of good RP in games I've played in or run. If SR has a failing, it's the tendency towards too much crunch - it's supposed to be a role playing game, not a roll playing game smile.gif
K1ll5w1tch
QUOTE (Fauxknight @ Mar 24 2011, 09:51 AM) *
Agreed, use the buying hits unless it is something he absolutely has to get in a very limited time for mission reasons.

With this method you can just figure out a max availability he can get when he has plenty of time, and whenever the availability is that or lower thers not roll. Example, with 12 dice anthing availability 15 or lower will eventually be obtained by him:

12 = 3
11 = 2
10 = 2
9 = 2
8 = 2
7 = 1
6 = 1
5 = 1
4 = 1
1-3 = 0

If time is limited or the availability is too high, he can either roll or find some way to get more dice, like offering more cash.



Also keep in mind using this system as listed will allow every action eventual success given enough time, every hack, every search every item you wish to buy. I prefer to use the option of a -1 dicepool modiefer for extended test that don't have built in time restraints. Some things might just be out of your ability to perform or obtain.
Yerameyahu
Actually, Killswitch, Fauxknight *was* demonstrating the '-1 per roll' rule (and 4:1 buying). That's why there's that whole list there. smile.gif

The GM certainly should use the -1/roll rule when appropriate (and, importantly, *not* when it's not). This is often a judgement call, of course. The book (SR4A) clearly describes this rule as optional/suggested-when-appropriate, but there's somewhere (the Changes Doc?) that mistakenly calls it mandatory always… don't be fooled. biggrin.gif
Fauxknight
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 24 2011, 03:59 PM) *
Actually, Killswitch, Fauxknight *was* demonstrating the '-1 per roll' rule (and 4:1 buying). That's why there's that whole list there. smile.gif


Ha, indeed I was, thats why I started at 12, the dice pool I stated...which isn't particularly high, but is a lot shorter than showing a full 20+, and I pulled it from an earlier reply. Add up the successes listed going down and it totals 15, the number of hits a 12 dice pool will get you on an extended test using the buying hits method with the optional -1 dice pool per test.
K1ll5w1tch
QUOTE (Fauxknight @ Mar 24 2011, 01:05 PM) *
Ha, indeed I was, thats why I started at 12, the dice pool I stated...which isn't particularly high, but is a lot shorter than showing a full 20+, and I pulled it from an earlier reply. Add up the successes listed going down and it totals 15, the number of hits a 12 dice pool will get you on an extended test using the buying hits method with the optional -1 dice pool per test.


Sorry miss read it looked like a chart of standard buys for a given dice pool. Was trying to specidfically bring up a rule option to prevent eventual success.
Epicedion
TL;DR: This is a merge of the SR3 system and the SR4 system. It might be interesting. It might also be a little rough around the edges, but I think it covers the basic ground. It's probably about as quick in play as doing those decreasing dice pool summations.

I've come up with a house rule:

Availability and normal Interval time (for a piece of gear, based on its cost) factor into acquiring gear.

Multiply the Interval by the ( Availability x (1/4) ) for Legal items, ( Availability x (1/2) ) for Restricted items, or ( Availability x 1 ) for Forbidden items. This gives you the Base Acquisition Time of an item.

The player then rolls his Charisma + Etiquette (relevant specialization most often Street, could vary), and divides the Base Acquisition Time by the number of hits. This is how long it will take to acquire the item.

If the player wishes to use the full resources of a contact, he may add that contact's Connection rating in dice to the roll, but must pay (5 x Connection rating)% of the item's cost as a "finder's fee" to the contact. The contact cannot be used again in this way until the acquisition is complete or abandoned. Beyond that, a character may increase the base price of the item by 25% to gain an additional die. This may be done up to 10 times (250% increase for 10 dice).

If the player wishes to reduce the cost of the item, he may do so by being patient. He may reduce the base cost of the item by 5% by adding one extra Interval to the base acquisition time. This may be done up to 10 times, or up to a 50% reduction in cost. This may not be combined with increasing the base price for extra dice, but it may be combined with using a contact's Connection rating as a bonus.

Once the acquisition time is determined, halfway through that period the player must negotiate the final price of the item. Take the modified base price of the item and then apply cost adjustments as listed in Street Costs. Then have the player and the seller roll an opposed Charisma + Negotiation (Bargaining) test. Each net hit provides a 5% cost adjustment in favor of the winner of the contest. At the end of the acquisition time, the player meets with the seller and exchanges that amount of money for the item(s).

The player is allowed to arrange multiply buys in the same time period, but doing so might put him in the position of having to blow off one meeting to attend another, which could make sellers understandably upset, especially regarding high-risk illegal items. Do so with caution.

If the player fails the first roll completely (0 hits), he may try again, but increase the cost by 10% and double the interval.

If the roll results in a glitch or critical glitch, something goes wrong during the process. On the initial Etiquette roll, a player has stumbled across a sting operation, a meeting is accidentally set in the middle of a gang war, or some other negative circumstance at the GM's discretion. On the negotiation roll, a glitch or critical glitch could spook the seller into abandoning the meeting, or his bodyguards could get twitchy and start shooting. Again, GM's discretion.

----

That's a little bit wordy, but what it comes down to is a couple simple calculations and two dice rolls. Examples, using a negotiator with 10 dice and a seller with 8 dice (and a dice roller):

Rating 3 Micro-Transceiver: Availability 6, Cost 600 nuyen.gif -- base acquisition time: 36 hours (1 day 12 hours, or 6/4 days)
Initial roll: 3 hits.
Acquisition time: 12 hours
Negotiator: 3 hits. Seller: 3 hits.
Street Value: Stolen (-20%)
Final cost: 480 nuyen.gif

Combat Axe: Availability 8R, Cost 600 nuyen.gif -- base acquisition time: 4 days
Initial roll: 4 hits.
Acquisition time: 1 day
Negotiator: 2 hits. Seller: 5 hits.
Final cost: 690 nuyen.gif

Ares Alpha: Availability 12F, Cost 1700 nuyen.gif -- base acquisition time: 24 days
Initial roll, using Cxn 3 contact and paying +50% for 2 extra dice (15 dice total): 6 hits
Modified base cost (+40%): 2380 nuyen.gif
Acquisition time: 4 days
Negotiator: 3 hits. Seller: 2 hits.
Final Cost: 2261 nuyen.gif

----

The pros:

1) I can hack out those acquisition times and modified costs in less time than it takes my marathon dice roller to go through his dice rituals.

2) Everyone likes a straight-up Opposed Contest, because it involves Winning rather than Grinding. It's more exciting.

3) Obvious entry points for additional roleplay.

4) Provides distinctions for "Legal" gear, "Restricted" gear, and "Forbidden" gear with respect to acquisitions.

5) Allows for higher degrees of success -- hits above the required mark in RAW are effectively discarded, while in the house rule each hit counts fully.

6) Brings Etiquette back into play as a necessary and commonly used skill even for non-Faces.

The cons:

1) Probably too calculationally intensive for some people.

2) This method probably shortens most acquisition times for Restricted gear, especially for magic gear and cyberware. A rating 6 power focus (Availability 30R) would have a base acquisition time of 15 weeks in the house rule, modified down by the number of hits. My 10-dice runner will probably get those in 3-7 weeks. That could easily take the same runner 10+ weeks in the standard rules. Forbidden items by RAW, however, seem to fall into the middle of the expected range of the house rule for the same dice pool. That may break down at some extreme cases, but I haven't tested those.
Yerameyahu
I'm not sure if the Availability test is a good example to use the decreasing dicepool rule on in the first place. Honestly, you probably *should* be able to find things if you wait a long enough time. The rule makes more sense for things like programming or build/repair ('you just aren't that smart'); sometimes for data search, but perhaps not. It's tricky, and I think it depends on each specific situation. smile.gif
Epicedion
Oh, I edited a TL;DR into the top line of my last post regarding that house rule.

By the way, for those of you who don't know me, which is probably everybody, this is what I do. I'm a mathematician and a gamer, so I like to take rules I'm not a huge fan of and rewrite them, then put them through the probabilistic wringer to see how they hold up compared to RAW and basic expectations.

It's kind of like a low-grade quest for optimization. Don't go all crazy on hating my house rules. To me they're mostly just idle "what if I did it like this?" thoughts and some work to see how it would play out.

Also it's way more fun than my day job. frown.gif
Yerameyahu
I'm a fan of R/F-coded items taking longer. Sounds like your rule could use tweaking on that front, but that's another fluff question: *does* it actually take longer to get R/F stuff on the black market? The followup question is, of course, 'do the existing Avail codes already account for that?', because you see a lot of 20Fs and 10Rs. Either way, I *wouldn't* use a rule that made getting anything substantially faster in game-time, unless that's the intent of the rule.

On that note, I still want to know if you're trying to address real-time or game-time issues. It looks like it's just real-time you care about, so there is indeed no reason you can't convert the Extended test into a roughly equivalent normal Test and get the same results. That's what math is for. smile.gif Given that you know the expected existing results, you should be able to nail it.

I can see that you're really set on this 'negotiate halfway through' idea. I dunno why, but that's not important. smile.gif It's just important that it's a significant change; because your rule is a fluff change *and* a crunch change at once, it's trickier to evaluate.
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 24 2011, 04:24 PM) *
I'm a fan of R/F-coded items taking longer. Sounds like your rule could use tweaking on that front, but that's another fluff question: *does* it actually take longer to get R/F stuff on the black market? The followup question is, of course, 'do the existing Avail codes already account for that?', because you see a lot of 20Fs and 10Rs.


The way those numbers are set up, F items in the house rule and in RAW have the same expected mean time for a given dice pool. It gets fuzzier around the edges, since each dice roll in RAW is a chunk equal to one interval, while in the house rule each hit creates a slightly higher divisor.

R items, however, take less time than in the house rule than you would expect out of RAW, by some downward shift that I'm not going to take the time to calculate.

Legal items take way less time in the house rule than in RAW, but that doesn't often matter to me since I usually let my players just buy Legal items from the local store. I'll let them buy Legal items at the biggest discounts on the black market -- used, used in a crime, stolen, et cetera.

Those numbers could easily be tweaked. R = x1, F = x2, for example, if you wanted to kick Forbidden item acquisition times into high orbit, and keep Restricted items in the RAW range. For this version of the house rule, I figured I'd keep F items at RAW times, and lower the rest, since there's no explicit RAW difference in the difficulty of acquiring a 6, 6R, or 6F item.
Yerameyahu
Yeah, I agree: it's an easy tweak, and it's something that's nice to have in there. I do want to point out that the fluff is only -- Avail items are 'in the store', while anything with a number is still 'on the black market' (even though it's 'Legal').
Epicedion
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Mar 24 2011, 04:24 PM) *
The followup question is, of course, 'do the existing Avail codes already account for that?', because you see a lot of 20Fs and 10Rs. Either way, I *wouldn't* use a rule that made getting anything substantially faster in game-time, unless that's the intent of the rule.


I think the Availability codes are trying to accomplish that a little, but there are some major exceptions. There are plenty of high Rs and low Fs, especially in Cyberware and Magic. Full Body Armor is rated at 14R, Hacking programs get up to 12R. Most of your variable-RTG Restricted gear can climb up to 12 or higher. Stuff like Wired Reflexes is 20R, which is in line with the highest non-cyber F gear. And most magic stuff can hit absurd levels while still being R (Force 6 Power Focus = 30R).

There aren't really any "regular gear" items that have 16R or 20R -- most of those things are military grade firearms and things that you would expect to be hard to get and totally illegal.

QUOTE
On that note, I still want to know if you're trying to address real-time or game-time issues. It looks like it's just real-time you care about, so there is indeed no reason you can't convert the Extended test into a roughly equivalent normal Test and get the same results. That's what math is for. smile.gif Given that you know the expected existing results, you should be able to nail it.


Little from column A, little from column B. Halfway in the middle, I'm trying to alleviate the blandness of roll roll roll roll roll roll roll you got it. I don't want to necessarily blow expectations out of the water in terms of in-game time, but I do also find it kind of dull that it always takes you (for example) at least 12 hours to buy a box of bullets.

It turns the Shadowrunner's grocery list from "milk, eggs, bullets" into a note to the team that says "please feed my fish, I'll be back with ammo on Thursday."

QUOTE
I can see that you're really set on this 'negotiate halfway through' idea. I dunno why, but that's not important. smile.gif It's just important that it's a significant change; because your rule is a fluff change *and* a crunch change at once, it's trickier to evaluate.


Like I mentioned before, I always thought the negotiation part was critical to the process in SR3, and it just got dumped out the window in SR4. So it's kind of like a reversion of the fluff. I pretty much lifted it whole cloth out of the SR3 book. Since most of my Shadowrun play style was developed in SR3, for me it's SR4 that has the harder-to-evaluate fluff change. For the life of me I can't think of why they took a fairly simple system and then replaced it with 15 consecutive dice rolls.

Not that I have a general problem with SR4. There are parts of it I don't care for, but overall I like the core system.
Iduno
Would dividing by 1.5 and 2 instead of 2 and 4 fix the reduced time to find things?

Also, the 25% price increase for 1 die works for extended tests with lots of rolls. Does it give a similar benefit with this system?
Epicedion
QUOTE (Iduno @ Mar 24 2011, 04:45 PM) *
Would dividing by 1.5 and 2 instead of 2 and 4 fix the reduced time to find things?

Also, the 25% price increase for 1 die works for extended tests with lots of rolls. Does it give a similar benefit with this system?


So the multipliers would be Legal = 1/2, Restricted = 2/3, and Forbidden = 1? Sure, that could work. Honestly you could do anything you wanted with the multipliers, to bring it in line with whatever game you wanted. Maybe if your team is in a huge black market city, Hong Kong or somewhere, you could cut all the modifiers to make it easy and fast to acquire anything.

The 25% price increase for 1 die has a similar effect in the house rule to the one it has in RAW. More dice in the house rule = more chances to reduce the acquisition time. More dice in RAW = more chances to get hits in one dice roll = fewer dice rolls on the extended test = fewer intervals before hitting the threshold.

It might not be mathematically equivalent, but it's near enough.
LonePaladin
This discussion got me wondering about how the RAW version would look if the number-crunching were handled invisibly. I whipped together an Excel spreadsheet to this end; you plug in all the relevant numbers (for the buyer, their Charisma, Negotiation, Connection rating if any, and the "wheel-grease" where you add money; the item's price, availability, legality [though it doesn't affect anything], and street-value mods). It applies automatic hits, along with simulating die-rolls, assuming the "1 die per test" rule. It also assumes the "grease-the-wheels" modifier applies after all the others, and that the "finder's fee" for using a contact is separate.

End result shows the total price paid out, and the times for both automatic-success and rolling methods.

If you're interested, I can post something to allow downloading. If you want it in something other than Excel 2007 (.xlsx) format, let me know.
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