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Knight Saber
I'm getting ready to run a SR20A game for a few friends, lightly experienced in Shadowrun (and my first time GMing it). I was thinking about eliminating the rules for stacking Form Fitting Body Armor with other armor types. Mainly to keep things simple and not have to have the armor stacking seem mandatory... since it provides a benefit nothing else does. Any unforseen consequences to this, or balance issues?

Also, no Stick & Shock. Use a taser or gel rounds.
Draco18s
Repercussions? Likely none.
Chainsaw Samurai
I don't like Stick n Shock and most GMs complain that Grenades are too cheap. You need to keep in mind that these are mundane forms of Aoe/Crowd Control/Debuffing etc which a Street Samurai or Adept has very little access to and having them in the game helps balance out Tech vs Magic. When you put it that way 35 nuyen.gif per "ghetto powerball" isn't too bad and the Stick n Shock rounds look a little less cheesy (still super cheesy).

Don't eliminate Stick n Shock entirely. Restrict it to Shotguns only. Longarms as a weapons skill is pretty lacking compared to Automatics and allowing Stick n Shock to be loaded into Shotguns (a weapon which takes a DV hit for Stick n Shock as well as having a more restrictive range) it levels the playing field of both the Skill and the Ammunition.

This is something which works well in my experience. Makes shotguns more worthwhile, allows Sams/Adepts to take advantage of the Shock debuff associated with the Stick n Shock rounds, and makes Gel Rounds actually make an appearance in all of the other forms of weaponry.

As far as getting rid of FFBA I've run in games that have had two different solutions:
1. Getting rid of FFBA entirely.
3. Entirely removing the encumberance of FFBA, but FFBA doesn't stack. Essentially this ruling is put into place so that FFBA's entire purpose is when someone takes a called shot to ignore armor you resist with nothing but FFBA. This sounds neat in theory but it never actually came up.

I would get rid of it entirely personally. Game works better without it in my opinion.
Funkelzahn
In my games I've ruled that one can only wear one kind of 'under armour'. So for example you couldn't wear FFBA and the concealable securetech ensemble, you could still wear your armor and FFBA and the securetech ensemble but the latter would have to be the obvious kind. It doesn't really eliminate the stacking but it makes it a little less cheesy in my opinion.

As far as stick n shock goes I've ruled that the rounds don't provide enough power to cycle the action of a weapon, thus any weapon loaded with SnS can only fire at the single shot rate of fire. This makes them still useful but eliminates the cheese of hosing down spirits with barrages of SnS smile.gif
Neraph
Just remember that the game as officially printed is largely balanced already. By changing anything you risk changing the balance of the game. Most often I find that "game balance" is less about actual mechanics and more about tactics; worded another way, when people complain about something being "unbalanced" they tend more to be upset with a tactic they didn't think of/prepare for rather than the existence of something. For armor stacking (FFBA/PPP/Armor) this means that people will usually take less damage, but all that damage they do take is stun. More than likely they have 10 boxes of stun and maybe 11 or higher physical. This is actually a bad thing because all that unsoaked damage is going to their weaker hitbox - they'll get knocked out from stun long before they break a bone, and even then if you get tazed with an armor vest that has R6 Nonconductivity you end up gaining armor out of it - my point being that armor stacking or no, a smart player will use tactics to their advantage.

If anything I'd make the following house-rules:
1) Body + Strength for maximum armor, not Body x 2.
2) Indirect Combat Spells Drain Codes are lowered by 4, Direct Combat Spells Drain Codes are increased by 4.

This stops Str from being a dumpstat and changes Stunbolt from being waaaay cooler than SnS. I really don't see any problem with SnS at all.
Psikerlord
to the OP: we banned PPP and FFBA and SnS ammo in our game, and I think it helps keep things balanced.

A few other house rules you might consider: (i) task and guardian spirits can't get extra skills beyond what their summoner knows (avoids skill monkey spirits - mages are such great swiss army knives already), (ii) No Restricted Gear quality, (iii) No possession mages for PCs, (iv) No empathy software, (v) sprite power diagnostics limited to non-combat devices only (no sprites adding 6 dice to everyone's guns). We have a few other house rules but those are our main ones.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 14 2012, 07:16 PM) *
Just remember that the game as officially printed is largely balanced already. By changing anything you risk changing the balance of the game. Most often I find that "game balance" is less about actual mechanics and more about tactics; worded another way, when people complain about something being "unbalanced" they tend more to be upset with a tactic they didn't think of/prepare for rather than the existence of something. For armor stacking (FFBA/PPP/Armor) this means that people will usually take less damage, but all that damage they do take is stun. More than likely they have 10 boxes of stun and maybe 11 or higher physical. This is actually a bad thing because all that unsoaked damage is going to their weaker hitbox - they'll get knocked out from stun long before they break a bone, and even then if you get tazed with an armor vest that has R6 Nonconductivity you end up gaining armor out of it - my point being that armor stacking or no, a smart player will use tactics to their advantage.

If anything I'd make the following house-rules:
1) Body + Strength for maximum armor, not Body x 2.
2) Indirect Combat Spells Drain Codes are lowered by 4, Direct Combat Spells Drain Codes are increased by 4.

This stops Str from being a dumpstat and changes Stunbolt from being waaaay cooler than SnS. I really don't see any problem with SnS at all.


That was true when we only had SR4 book. When they introduced Street Magic, Arsenal, Augmentation etc. they risked upsetting that balance. Game balance has little to do with tactics, getting a piece of equipment simply because it is better than you would think, does not equal tactics. Using a rifle to snipe enemies from a well-hidden position is good tactics. And that can be done easily by just a sporting rifle. Now if the Barret sniper rifle was just as easy to get and use, then it would be unbalanced. It's not, so it isn't. Is there really a justification that FFBA is necessary to compensate for anything? Or is it just everyone gets better armor more easily?

I kinda like the Str+bod for max armor though.
UmaroVI
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 14 2012, 01:16 PM) *
Just remember that the game as officially printed is largely balanced already.

I lol'd.

OP: do you mean that you want FFBA to count half for encumbrance, but no longer be wearable with other single armor pieces? EG, you can wear FFBA and a helmet, and bet at 4/3 for encumbrance and 7/4 total, but you can't wear FFBA and an armor vest?

This is a dumb idea because FFBA is still really good, and what you wind up with is people wearing really odd outfits like FFBA+PPP+Helmet+Ballistic Mask+Threaded Moonsilver Line Scarf. It also means that the value of Body has a sharp cutoff value at whatever you need to wear all that, and then a "dead zone" where you can't actually wear any more armor. This isn't good.

What do you actually want to do? If you just ban FFBA, what it does is make Body and other sources of armor more valuable and lower everyone's armor by 3/1. This makes AP -half effects and armor ignoring effects relatively worse, and regular physical attacks relatively better.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (UmaroVI @ Apr 15 2012, 07:23 PM) *
I lol'd.

OP: do you mean that you want FFBA to count half for encumbrance, but no longer be wearable with other single armor pieces? EG, you can wear FFBA and a helmet, and bet at 4/3 for encumbrance and 7/4 total, but you can't wear FFBA and an armor vest?

This is a dumb idea because FFBA is still really good, and what you wind up with is people wearing really odd outfits like FFBA+PPP+Helmet+Ballistic Mask+Threaded Moonsilver Line Scarf. It also means that the value of Body has a sharp cutoff value at whatever you need to wear all that, and then a "dead zone" where you can't actually wear any more armor. This isn't good.

What do you actually want to do? If you just ban FFBA, what it does is make Body and other sources of armor more valuable and lower everyone's armor by 3/1. This makes AP -half effects and armor ignoring effects relatively worse, and regular physical attacks relatively better.


It doesn't lower everybody's armor, it is FFBA that increases the armor of runners with access to Arsenal. Some players don't think they should need to open the other books, and I don't think they should need to either. Simply banning FFBA and Securepoint armor sets everyone back to square one. Essentially, if it is back to primary armor+helmet+magic or cyber. Enough IMHO. Normal weapons are already too weak.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 10:38 AM) *
Normal weapons are already too weak.


I actually laughed out loud at this one. smile.gif
UmaroVI
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 01:38 PM) *
It doesn't lower everybody's armor, it is FFBA that increases the armor of runners with access to Arsenal.


I didn't get my hair cut, I got my ears lowered!
Angelone
It would make a lethal system even more lethal, PCs would be taking Physical more often than Stun.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 15 2012, 08:06 PM) *
I actually laughed out loud at this one. smile.gif


Laugh all you want. If you think your runners can make do with light pistols against armor jacket, FFBA, Securetech, cyberlimb armor and dermal armor, they won't be.


FFBA is completely unnecessary. The core rules were not designed with it in mind. It's not removing FFBA that lowers armor all around, it is allowing it that means that those who use it will get tougher than they should be. And that is not everyone.
Tanegar
The fact that your players are choosing to use weak weapons does not mean that all weapons are weak.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Tanegar @ Apr 15 2012, 10:26 PM) *
The fact that your players are choosing to use weak weapons does not mean that all weapons are weak.


I never said all weapons are weak. I said normal weapons. With that I meant what normal enemies use - which includes light and heavy pistols, SMGs (not firing S&D), melee weapons.... you know normal weapons.

Not super modded machineguns with EX-EX or APDS ammo firing Full auto bursts at 0 recoil, not Force 10+ spirits using elemental attacks, and not Gauss rifles and Barret sniper rifles. Normal weapons.

In most games I've played, Runners do just fine with between 8-16 armor.
Yerameyahu
Agreed.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 02:33 PM) *
I never said all weapons are weak. I said normal weapons. With that I meant what normal enemies use - which includes light and heavy pistols, SMGs (not firing S&D), melee weapons.... you know normal weapons.

Not super modded machineguns with EX-EX or APDS ammo firing Full auto bursts at 0 recoil, not Force 10+ spirits using elemental attacks, and not Gauss rifles and Barret sniper rifles. Normal weapons.

In most games I've played, Runners do just fine with between 8-16 armor.


And all those "super modded machineguns" etc are supposed to tear through Armor. They're supposed to represent a new and interesting challenge being added to the battlefield and merit a change in tactics. If you allow armor stacking to obscene levels then you just make this "another encounter with dudes who have guns."

Fighting mages from different traditions or who have different assortments of spells is supposed to feel different (which it does) and provoke the team to think about how to tackle the situation (which they do). Armor should not be allowed to stack to such asinine levels that the same feel and response cannot be achieved by any given encounter with mundanes packing heat. Thugs with shotguns ought to play out very differently than a strike team with machinegun or sniper support. Having so much armor that "I stand in the middle and shoot till they're all dead" is a viable option for everything is a bummer, cutting back on armor stacking avoids this.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 16 2012, 01:03 AM) *
And all those "super modded machineguns" etc are supposed to tear through Armor. They're supposed to represent a new and interesting challenge being added to the battlefield and merit a change in tactics. If you allow armor stacking to obscene levels then you just make this "another encounter with dudes who have guns."

Fighting mages from different traditions or who have different assortments of spells is supposed to feel different (which it does) and provoke the team to think about how to tackle the situation (which they do). Armor should not be allowed to stack to such asinine levels that the same feel and response cannot be achieved by any given encounter with mundanes packing heat. Thugs with shotguns ought to play out very differently than a strike team with machinegun or sniper support. Having so much armor that "I stand in the middle and shoot till they're all dead" is a viable option for everything is a bummer, cutting back on armor stacking avoids this.


Uhm... wat? Are you agreeing? You made it sound as if I was defending FFBA.

As for the "stand being shot at" method that only happened once in my old campaign. It was fairly epic, seeing a huge troll with as much armor and cyber as he could stack on using only the core (SR4) rulebook soaking off multitudes of gangers firing at him with pistols, smgs, shotguns all at the same time. At the time the fight was over poor Trog had only 1 stun box left....

Any other character in said group would have been taken down much earlier.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 03:17 PM) *
Uhm... wat? Are you agreeing? You made it sound as if I was defending FFBA.

As for the "stand being shot at" method that only happened once in my old campaign. It was fairly epic, seeing a huge troll with as much armor and cyber as he could stack on using only the core (SR4) rulebook soaking off multitudes of gangers firing at him with pistols, smgs, shotguns all at the same time. At the time the fight was over poor Trog had only 1 stun box left....

Any other character in said group would have been taken down much earlier.


I was agreeing. That's why I started my post with "And."

I was continuing your rant with one of my own. Musnt let these things lose steam!

And if that Troll had FFBA as well he could have done that same firefight quite casually, while enjoying a tasty meatball sub with his off-hand.
StConstantine
QUOTE
Don't eliminate Stick n Shock entirely. Restrict it to Shotguns only. Longarms as a weapons skill is pretty lacking compared to Automatics and allowing Stick n Shock to be loaded into Shotguns (a weapon which takes a DV hit for Stick n Shock as well as having a more restrictive range) it levels the playing field of both the Skill and the Ammunition.


Def will use this idea, makes so much more sense, and i really hate the idea of using a SnS round in a sniper rifle and hitting someone from a kilometer away.
Thanee
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 16 2012, 12:33 AM) *
In most games I've played, Runners do just fine with between 8-16 armor.


Certainly.


16 armor is supposed to be A LOT already. That's in the realms of what soldiers wear to war.

16 armor is what a heavily armored VEHICLE has.

It is way too easy in SR4 to get to such levels of armor as a person.

Dropping FFBA and PPP completely (along with SynthWeave) is certainly a step into the right direction (a step away from the arms-armor-spiral).

Bye
Thanee
Psikerlord
I agree completely Thanee
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 02:18 PM) *
Laugh all you want. If you think your runners can make do with light pistols against armor jacket, FFBA, Securetech, cyberlimb armor and dermal armor, they won't be.


FFBA is completely unnecessary. The core rules were not designed with it in mind. It's not removing FFBA that lowers armor all around, it is allowing it that means that those who use it will get tougher than they should be. And that is not everyone.


And yet I eliminate more opposition WITH A LIGHT PISTOL than any other weapon. Which is why I laughed. smile.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 04:33 PM) *
I never said all weapons are weak. I said normal weapons. With that I meant what normal enemies use - which includes light and heavy pistols, SMGs (not firing S&D), melee weapons.... you know normal weapons.

Not super modded machineguns with EX-EX or APDS ammo firing Full auto bursts at 0 recoil, not Force 10+ spirits using elemental attacks, and not Gauss rifles and Barret sniper rifles. Normal weapons.

In most games I've played, Runners do just fine with between 8-16 armor.


I do agree with this. My characters tend to actually fall somewhere between the 6-12 Mark, actually.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Apr 16 2012, 11:01 AM) *
I do agree with this. My characters tend to actually fall somewhere between the 6-12 Mark, actually.


Same. My lowest was 0-4 once (unarmored drake: 0 in human, 4 in drake). For more rational choiced characters, I usually end up 8-12.
Yerameyahu
Against "against armor jacket, FFBA, Securetech, cyberlimb armor and dermal armor" (at once), TJ? You must have quite the DPů or just use InstaWin taser bullets. wink.gif
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 16 2012, 10:45 AM) *
Against "against armor jacket, FFBA, Securetech, cyberlimb armor and dermal armor" (at once), TJ? You must have quite the DPů or just use InstaWin taser bullets. wink.gif


Not a high DP. My Prime Runner is running with a Base DP of 14 (IIrc) and can add up to an additional +4 Dice from Tacnet when all team members are present.

16+ Armor is not TYPICAL, though, in our games (I would average us at 8-12 for players/opponents). However, against those with armor up to 16 I have dropped more than 90% of my targets with a Light Pistol (Probably because it is the weapon I typically carry, and do not usually have access to other, more powerful, weapons... I prefer concealability to outright firepower, and it works better in SR4 than it did in previous editions). I rarely use SnS rounds. I do use APDS, EX-EX, Capsule (Narcojet), or other Specialized ammuntion, though, fairly routinely. It probably has a lot ot do with the fact that though we allow any type of armor in the game, OBVIOUS armor is just that, and it tends to have in game consequences. Against the High End Spec-Ops (or crazy troll) opponents, I tend to rely upon my APDS, Chemical Rounds or called shots.

AS for the Tazer Bullets (Sns), I use those against high end spirits (And in our game, High end is from 5-7). It is so rare to see anything above a Force 6 that I can only remember a few instances over the life of SR4 where this occurred in game. Believe me, you do not NEED spirits above Force 6 to cause issues, even for Shadowrunners.

Yes, if you routinely see Armor in the ludicrous ranges, then... *Shrug*

And before someone says that such levels of armor are typical, I have a question. Have you ever worn a Bulletproof vest under clothes, on any typical day in America? While discomfort is only a Fluff concern, it is still a real concern. No one wants to wear such armor for extended amounts of time, and even an a couple of hours is typically too long. smile.gif And since it is NOT covert to do so, it should have both comfort issues, and concealability issues. Just becasue something is discrete does not mean that it is not noticeable, or noticed.
Seriously Mike
I was talking to a friend of mine about Kestrel, one of the builds from the "Character clinic" thread. Turned out she's SCARY - 18 dice on Ballistic, 14 on Impact, 9 on "half impact". Absolutely insane pools, you could shrug off an Assault Cannon shot and still be able to fire back.
Lantzer
QUOTE (Seriously Mike @ Apr 16 2012, 08:17 PM) *
I was talking to a friend of mine about Kestrel, one of the builds from the "Character clinic" thread. Turned out she's SCARY - 18 dice on Ballistic, 14 on Impact, 9 on "half impact". Absolutely insane pools, you could shrug off an Assault Cannon shot and still be able to fire back.


That can be fine if that is that particular character's thing. If they do everything else well too, you might have an issue.

The Concealable-Wall-O'-Armor has a role in shadowrun - he's the guy who trades bullets with security to give the team a chance to make an escape route, or finish the job, or what have you. The hard part is keeping that job description from becoming "Martyr" no matter how tough you are.

The Obvious-Wall-O'-Armor has a role in Shadowrun too - He's the guy that security sends in to deal with the shadowrunner who's suppressing all the other securty guards.

I've played a tough as nails character in the past named the Roach for the difficulty to take him down. It wasn't his toughness that made him a good runner though. And he was the first or second PC to die in that game, IIRC, because he purposely drew fire away from his teammates.
FriendoftheDork
What the hell just happened? Everyone started agreeing! Noooo! Keep the rant up! Somebody post something ridiculously wrong, before this thread falls into obscurity!

Edit: Oh and I have worn a bulletproof vest for extended periods. It was damn sweaty and no one in their right mind would unless their lives depended on it. But as it says in the book:
"(...)monofilament ballistic fabrics, spiderweave threads, ceramictitanium
composite plates, and liquid armor packs to cover non-rigid
areas, modern armor is lightweight, flexible, and concealable."

This gives the impression that armor in 2070 is quite different from our own, and that there is no reason not to wear it every day, especially stuff like armored clothing. I'll bet a Lined Coat isn't too bad either, especially in chilly wet Seattle weather. And an armored jacket? Well it's kinda obvious, but probably not too bad for gangers and rentacops either.
Yerameyahu
Yes, AFAIK the fluff says 'it's not heavy, hot, and annoying'. That's what Encumbrance is for, more or less, and SR4 doesn't track things like 'annoying' or 'heavy'.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 16 2012, 04:59 PM) *
What the hell just happened? Everyone started agreeing! Noooo! Keep the rant up! Somebody post something ridiculously wrong, before this thread falls into obscurity!

Edit: Oh and I have worn a bulletproof vest for extended periods. It was damn sweaty and no one in their right mind would unless their lives depended on it. But as it says in the book:
"(...)monofilament ballistic fabrics, spiderweave threads, ceramictitanium
composite plates, and liquid armor packs to cover non-rigid
areas, modern armor is lightweight, flexible, and concealable."

This gives the impression that armor in 2070 is quite different from our own, and that there is no reason not to wear it every day, especially stuff like armored clothing. I'll bet a Lined Coat isn't too bad either, especially in chilly wet Seattle weather. And an armored jacket? Well it's kinda obvious, but probably not too bad for gangers and rentacops either.


I have too. From the sounds of things the vest in the SR core book looks like it aligns more with a class 1 vest.

I'm not sure what kind of vest you've experienced but I've worn Class I, III, and IV body armor. Technically IV+ because of the extra bullshit that comes with it and they make you throw on (PPP?).

Anyway, the Class I was downright comfy. Like an under the shirt velcro hug all day. Hell, up here in the "beautiful" North West, it was extra comfy because it helped with the damned rain and cold.

Class IV is a modern vest with extremely heavy plates, not concealable as it is very thick. The 4+ I talked about was adding a bunch of bullshit extra kevlar (read: stuff that wont even slow down combat grade bullets). That Class 4 plate is intended to stop Armor Piercing rounds from a 7.62 (I say roundS, but the first one likely breaks the plate. You get the point).

So the Class I vest of today, light weight and very concealable, lines up with Armored Vest (6 "future" ballistic armor rating stopping "future" light pistol grade ammunition).

Class IV vests don't really have any parallel in Shadowrun.


I rambled a bit. 2 points:

1. I think the Armor Vest (concealable, stops 2072 light pistol ammunition) is a perfect correlation to modern Class I vests. Bullets are better, armor is better, stalemate there. My experiences with it were great. Very thin, very concealable, not very heavy. Wore it in heat and cold. Cold was very pleasant and the worst problem I had in the heat had more to do with stink than physical discomfort.

2. Nothing we have today is going to line up at all to what is available in 2072. Modern body armor is a huge problem as combating modern firearms require more of the material than we're capable of wearing. The plates themselves are simply a stop-gap method.

oh, and also that I agree with your point that most of the stuff is probably comfortable enough to wear wherever, in case that wasn't clear. Hell the Auctioneer Business Suit and like 6 pages of Arsenal are dedicated to some pretty high armor value clothing that is designed for daily use.

Moreover, I think those "armored clothing" listings say a lot about the general culture of Shadowrun. I honestly don't think anyone would be "scared of" someone who chose to wear his armored vest in a plainly visible fashion, they would think him low class and potentially very rude. These are designer companies who have dedicated entire lines of fashion to stopping bullets. You think the average passerby doesn't know that Steampunk corset is armored? Personal protection is a pervading theme in Shadowrun.

... I'm not saying that Full Military armor wont get noticed, just that smaller measures to protect from reasonable force (handguns, muggings, go gangers) is likely entirely OK to be seen with in public.

QUOTE
Yes, AFAIK the fluff says 'it's not heavy, hot, and annoying'. That's what Encumbrance is for, more or less, and SR4 doesn't track things like 'annoying' or 'heavy'.


Shadowrun kind of tracks 'heavy.' It has lifting and encumberance rules, they just don't matter for 99% of situations and none of the gear has any weight attached to it. How the hell am I supposed to know what a 2072 'space aged martian brain polymer' assault rifle weighs?

I do think that it is kind of funny that you could make a character with a high body and 1 strength, and be capable of wearing Military Grade armor but not lifting it. Thats what that STR+BOD for encumbrance rather than BODx2 rule is for if you feel the need to change it.

I've given serious thought to more detailed weight and encumbrance rules ala old editions of dungeon crawler games, then I remembered that it is usually something that no one wants to pay attention to or bother with anyway. Even the most detailed system usually boils down to, "Is it conceivable that you could carry all that you've got on you right now?" "Yes," "Then fuck it," while in actual play.

It is one of those cases that a system without it can be "weird" or "kinda broken" but be better off for practical play reasons anyway. My opinion at least.
FriendoftheDork
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 17 2012, 02:27 AM) *
I have too. From the sounds of things the vest in the SR core book looks like it aligns more with a class 1 vest.

I'm not sure what kind of vest you've experienced but I've worn Class I, III, and IV body armor. Technically IV+ because of the extra bullshit that comes with it and they make you throw on (PPP?).

Anyway, the Class I was downright comfy. Like an under the shirt velcro hug all day. Hell, up here in the "beautiful" North West, it was extra comfy because it helped with the damned rain and cold.

Class IV is a modern vest with extremely heavy plates, not concealable as it is very thick. The 4+ I talked about was adding a bunch of bullshit extra kevlar (read: stuff that wont even slow down combat grade bullets). That Class 4 plate is intended to stop Armor Piercing rounds from a 7.62 (I say roundS, but the first one likely breaks the plate. You get the point).

So the Class I vest of today, light weight and very concealable, lines up with Armored Vest (6 "future" ballistic armor rating stopping "future" light pistol grade ammunition).

Class IV vests don't really have any parallel in Shadowrun.


I rambled a bit. 2 points:

1. I think the Armor Vest (concealable, stops 2072 light pistol ammunition) is a perfect correlation to modern Class I vests. Bullets are better, armor is better, stalemate there. My experiences with it were great. Very thin, very concealable, not very heavy. Wore it in heat and cold. Cold was very pleasant and the worst problem I had in the heat had more to do with stink than physical discomfort.

2. Nothing we have today is going to line up at all to what is available in 2072. Modern body armor is a huge problem as combating modern firearms require more of the material than we're capable of wearing. The plates themselves are simply a stop-gap method.


I just wore a Class 2, and we didn't use inserts. I'm also overweight, which might add to the discomfort. It didn't affect my maneuverability, it was not heavy, it was barely visible (essentially making me look fatter), but it was fairly hot, didn't breath much at all, which basically made you sweat and eventually stink. I can't see why someone in everyday life would wear it, but I sure would wear it if I was a policeman in a dangerous hood, or some other line of duty where the protection might be useful.

Normal civilians in my games don't wear armor. Those with something to fear might have armored clothing, or use the "high class" armor available in the core book or arsenal. VIPs should be armored with expensive, comfortable and "invisible" armor. Gangers probably use armor of they can afford it, although wearing it might be a sign of weakness in some gangs. And even for them it must be annoying eventually, and could be reserved for turf wars or specific threats.
Chainsaw Samurai
Yeah most of the issues with Class I and Class II vests (sans inserts) have to do with how close you wear it to your torso.

Maybe you need something classier and with a bit more breathing room for daily wear. Oh I dunno, maybe something like this:

http://www.miguelcaballero.com/cms/front_content.php
These are a different parallel to the shadowrun world. This is protective clothing that no one knows is protective. I'm sure everyone in shadowrun knows that the armor clothing is protective as it is made by designers who do fashion shows.

In my games I tend to figure that low rating armor (pretty much armor vest and under, to include any armored clothing) is worn by anyone who thinks they've got the need and can afford it. Think about the sheer number of gangs and other nastiness going on just in the Greater Seattle Area. As long as it is something that looks like it is for stopping Pistols and gang related weapons I don't think anyone would care how prominent it was. AAA neighborhoods likely have very little body armor (execs of course still wearing designer bullet stoppers), but a B or C neighborhood I don't think anyone would look at you sideways for wearing an Armored Vest over your wife beater while you jogged down to the stuffer shack for batteries.

If you lived in one of those lower security neighborhoods I can't imagine how you'd even go outside without wanting Armored Clothing at least. Shadowrun is a mad mad world!
KarmaInferno
I do remember seeing under-armor circulating wear for sale at one point, it had ribbed fabric to allow some air circulation for extended wear situations.





-k
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (KarmaInferno @ Apr 16 2012, 06:20 PM) *
I do remember seeing under-armor circulating wear for sale at one point, it had ribbed fabric to allow some air circulation for extended wear situations.





-k


There have been a few different types of that. Stuff to wear under body armor which wicks away moisture and perhaps adds a bit of lightweight padding. Very comfortable stuff.

Of course it isn't flame retardant and some guy thinks that if you are engulfed in flames the last thing you need is melting clothing. I'm not going to get into specifics of that, but that kind of stuff went out of vogue in Military and Police communities because it was banned for wear by most organizations.
Yerameyahu
*shrug* Materials science in 2070 is magic, so I don't care too much about adding Nonconduct to FFBA, for example.
Halinn
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 17 2012, 03:08 AM) *
These are a different parallel to the shadowrun world. This is protective clothing that no one knows is protective. I'm sure everyone in shadowrun knows that the armor clothing is protective as it is made by designers who do fashion shows.


I like to imagine part of every fashion show in the 2070's involves the models posing at the end of the runway, then getting shot at from a person especially hired just to show off the protection of the clothing. I want to be that person.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (Halinn @ Apr 17 2012, 05:18 AM) *
I like to imagine part of every fashion show in the 2070's involves the models posing at the end of the runway, then getting shot at from a person especially hired just to show off the protection of the clothing. I want to be that person.


Even if this doesn't happen, it is very easy to assume that the net is full of videos of Vashion Island stuff being draped over mannequins and then sumerily shot or blown to hell.

I really have never understood why there is a population among the 'Mirror Shades' crowd that gets uptight about armor. If I go to Starbucks today (in a blue-state mind you) thinking I'm Fitty Cent with a bullet proof vest over my wife beater, there's nothing anyone can do about it. I will have a polite conversation with the same couple of cops that I see there whom I frequently discuss concealed carry and 100 round magazines for assault rifles, get my coffee, and go home.

How body armor works in most places is that it is not a crime to own or wear, but adds as an accessory charge to violent crimes you commit.

2072 is an awful lot of weapon proliferation, break down of order, and gang warfare from now. There's a reason why a casual glance at the list of Armors available not a one of them below 10 armor as Restricted. I could go a bit more in depth on this, but I'd be willing to bet that any of those armors which are restricted are either because they are heavy duty or affiliated with specific organizations (restricting something because it is uniform is a good idea regardless).

Bear in mind that most of this stuff is really low availability. That doesn't just reflect legality, it reflects production. If something has low availability that means it is easy to get, likely because there is a lot of it.

My point is, almost any yahoo on the street should likely have armor if they can afford it and feel they need it (which is almost anyone in B areas or below, and every corp exec in the book).



But back on topic.

I'm against FFBA, entirely. The armor stacking from FFBA can be problematic, but more importantly it is another layer of armor you can add armor mods too. These Armor mods are already easy enough to get, I don't have a problem with them individually, but allowing enough layering of armor so that everyone has all of the relevant protections all the time is obnoxious. It removes the ability for the GM to hit the players with an occasional reasonable threat, but most importantly it takes some of the strategy and prep out of the game.

I like prepping for a run, finding dubious receipts for a Hell Hound transfer to the location, and having to respond by using a few bucks of my "up front money" to buy flame retardant armor for the run. Then wearing that instead of my non-conductive or chem-protective. The GM has put me in a situation where I as a player have to weigh tactical advantages and accept the consequences of my actions. It is another layer of depth added to the game.
Neraph
QUOTE (FriendoftheDork @ Apr 15 2012, 05:33 PM) *
I never said all weapons are weak. I said normal weapons. With that I meant what normal enemies use - which includes light and heavy pistols, SMGs (not firing S&D), melee weapons.... you know normal weapons.

Not super modded machineguns with EX-EX or APDS ammo firing Full auto bursts at 0 recoil, not Force 10+ spirits using elemental attacks, and not Gauss rifles and Barret sniper rifles. Normal weapons.

In most games I've played, Runners do just fine with between 8-16 armor.

Normal weapons - like a Ruger Super Warhawk. And ammo available at chargen, like... Ex-ex ammo. Or a "regular" gun, like an Ingram White Knight, that has flechette loaded?

Don't decry a system because what you think is "normal" is simply not taking advantage of the rules as they are presented in the books.

QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 17 2012, 01:36 PM) *
I'm against FFBA, entirely. The armor stacking from FFBA can be problematic, but more importantly it is another layer of armor you can add armor mods too. These Armor mods are already easy enough to get, I don't have a problem with them individually, but allowing enough layering of armor so that everyone has all of the relevant protections all the time is obnoxious. It removes the ability for the GM to hit the players with an occasional reasonable threat, but most importantly it takes some of the strategy and prep out of the game.

I like prepping for a run, finding dubious receipts for a Hell Hound transfer to the location, and having to respond by using a few bucks of my "up front money" to buy flame retardant armor for the run. Then wearing that instead of my non-conductive or chem-protective. The GM has put me in a situation where I as a player have to weigh tactical advantages and accept the consequences of my actions. It is another layer of depth added to the game.

I think this is small thinking. When your character wears armor, does he wear clothes too? Those clothes are 0/0 armor, meaning they can take mods also. So wearing Fireproof (or Insulating) clothes under a Nonconductive Armor Vest with a Chemsuit over it is completely logical, believeable "stacking." I do not, however, use armor mods on PPP (even though technically you can get your Forearm Guards with R6 Fire Protection, Shin Guards with R6 Insulation, ect. by what I believe to be an error in the printing of the rules), although I do put nifty things like commlinks, auto-injectors, and biomonitors in them.

The armor value I aim for is 10/7 armor with Body 4. Keep in mind that without PPP/FFBA you can easily exceed this with cyberware/bioware/magic, so I really don't know what all the commotion is about. FFBA/PPP (shields and helmets from Core also) are simply ways for people to customize their armor for more cost and bookkeeping on their end rather than losing essence or having to cast spells/be adepts. A troll adept can get 7/7 armor nekkid, for GM's sake, that doesn't count into encumbrance - and a human mage can get higher with one cast of Armor (not to mention multi-casts). Reiterating: FFBA/PPP is simply a way for the non-Awakened and those against cyber/bio for armor to get armor comparable to those who use them, and it simply carries the added benefit of allowing you to get a few more protections also. If aformentioned Troll Adept wore the Evo HEL suit, (s)he'd have 11/13 armor that counts only as 4/6 and has a lot of protections already built-in.

tl;dr: I don't see a problem at all, unless people make it a problem.

EDIT: And all this doesn't even start to come close to what is achievable with a vehicle. Not only is there the Horseman of the Apocalypse ®, but there are other things easily achievable. I remember in one of my games a player simply adding a rigger cocoon to his rigger's vehicle and then soaking all the damage done in a car chase involving explosives. And, for the record, Segways, Horsemen, and Iron Wills can fit everywhere a troll can.
Yerameyahu
QUOTE
Normal weapons - like a Ruger Super Warhawk. And ammo available at chargen, like... Ex-ex ammo. Or a "regular" gun, like an Ingram White Knight, that has flechette loaded?
Neraph, this is exactly what he's saying is *not* 'normal', yes. It's not about what's rules-legal, rules-possible, or even rules-easy. It's a fluff thing, don't worry about it. wink.gif

… You put commlinks in your PPP? Sigh.
Froggie
QUOTE (Chainsaw Samurai @ Apr 16 2012, 07:27 PM) *
Class IV vests don't really have any parallel in Shadowrun.


How about the armored jacket? It's described as bulky and obviously armored. Just take the vest with plates and extra kevlar that you mentioned and work it into a more user friendly garment.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (Froggie @ Apr 18 2012, 09:59 AM) *
How about the armored jacket? It's described as bulky and obviously armored. Just take the vest with plates and extra kevlar that you mentioned and work it into a more user friendly garment.


That's about as close as I could think of, but I still don't consider it an exact parallel. A Class IV vest is heavy. It also sports plates which tend to fracture after the first impact (which doesn't even have to be from a round, a solid drop can do it) making the plate useless.

It isn't so much that the description of that armor doesn't have a parallel, it's that the technology (and by that I mean really terrible plate design) doesn't have a parallel. Where as the Class I vest is pretty much a direct parallel to the 2072 Armor Vest.
Seriously Mike
QUOTE (Lantzer @ Apr 16 2012, 10:34 PM) *
That can be fine if that is that particular character's thing. If they do everything else well too, you might have an issue.

She's tank-tough and has a lot of different physical skills, with Stealth and Athletics groups at 2, and Firearms group at 4. Until we're dealing with some elite corp goons, she's pretty damn invincible - there's not only that insane soak pool, but also pretty decent Reaction 5 and Dodge 3. So first, hit her - sure, wide burst does the job, you got her nailed. Now she shrugs off the damage. And then, she retaliates during her 2 IPs, which means either popping the spurs and fucking you up at 11 dice (6 Agi from cyberarms, 3 Blades + Spurs spec), or going ranged with either her customized gun (13 dice) or anything she managed to get in the field (10 dice). I could have given her Throwing skill, but that would be overkill (I mean, she's unkillable, shoots things well and I'm supposed to give her GRENADES?!).
Neraph
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 18 2012, 09:22 AM) *
ů You put commlinks in your PPP? Sigh.

I like how that's what you got out of my post.

QUOTE (Seriously Mike @ Apr 19 2012, 03:40 PM) *
She's tank-tough and has a lot of different physical skills, with Stealth and Athletics groups at 2, and Firearms group at 4. Until we're dealing with some elite corp goons, she's pretty damn invincible - there's not only that insane soak pool, but also pretty decent Reaction 5 and Dodge 3. So first, hit her - sure, wide burst does the job, you got her nailed. Now she shrugs off the damage. And then, she retaliates during her 2 IPs, which means either popping the spurs and fucking you up at 11 dice (6 Agi from cyberarms, 3 Blades + Spurs spec), or going ranged with either her customized gun (13 dice) or anything she managed to get in the field (10 dice). I could have given her Throwing skill, but that would be overkill (I mean, she's unkillable, shoots things well and I'm supposed to give her GRENADES?!).

Cute. Is she single?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Neraph @ Apr 20 2012, 01:38 PM) *
I like how that's what you got out of my post.


Well, it was what you said... hard not to take that away from your post. smile.gif
Yerameyahu
smile.gif The rest was boring. That bit stood out as novel insanity.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Apr 20 2012, 02:22 PM) *
smile.gif The rest was boring. That bit stood out as novel insanity.


Heh... Just Awesome Yerameyahu... smile.gif
_Pax._
Actually, if it's an obvious forearm guard or helmet, why NOT put a comlink into it?

Even a discreet piece, could simply be where it's most practical to put a "personal proxy" commlink - the one loaded with anti-intrusion software, that everything else important in your PAN gets routed through.
Chainsaw Samurai
QUOTE (_Pax._ @ Apr 20 2012, 02:52 PM) *
Actually, if it's an obvious forearm guard or helmet, why NOT put a comlink into it?

Even a discreet piece, could simply be where it's most practical to put a "personal proxy" commlink - the one loaded with anti-intrusion software, that everything else important in your PAN gets routed through.


I keep a comlink implanted in the jock strap of my PPP vitals protector.

Keep it set to vibrate and it'll make boring surveillance jobs go by a little faster.
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