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Roy Fokker
I've never been particularly expert on the rules of out-of-body (OOB) experiences in SR (VR, astral projection, rigging) no matter the edition (been playing since 2nd on and off). In addition, the few times players have taken characters that frequently use the above (both when I was a GM or a fellow player over the past two decades), it's had a detrimental effect to the overall feel and flow of the game FOR EVERYONE. I've almost never had the luxury of a fellow player who was truly knowledgeable in the rules themselves and the out of body rules (with their variations on the common shadowrun "meat suit" rules) have proven to be a big hurdle to fun frankly. I realize that the new edition is supposedly easier to use both but frankly that has been the company line for pretty much ever edition since I've been buying/playing the game and it hasn't rung true enough so far to matter.

I'm thinking about trying to start up another local SR campaign and wish to avoid the above issues yet again. My idea is to initially not allow the out of body experiences as written until the players have a solid grasp of the basic rules in the game. Instead, players using astral projection instead add another 1d6 to their meat initiative but must use the first initiative pass they get on the astral plane; they must also maintain LOS and remain within magic x 10m of their meat body. Deckers/Riggers can use cold VR for 1d6 extra initiative and 2d6 for hot sim but must also use their first initiative pass as a matrix/rigging action. All out of body experiences grant a -2 dice modifier to all physical world actions/tests but the physical body no longer goes comatose while using VR or projection. Ideas? I feel that the above still grants a taste of the wider shadowrun world and rules but still keeps the group together (both in game and outside) so I don't have most of the group taking a 30 minute bathroom/smoking/chitchat break while the decker or mage does his or her "thing". Once the group gets a good hang of the basic meat rules, I open to trying out the OOB stuff and seeing what they'd prefer.
That.. sounds comparatively really complicated.
Roy Fokker
QUOTE (Epicedion @ Jul 21 2013, 09:09 PM) *
That.. sounds comparatively really complicated.

I'm not sure how that is comparatively really complicated when VR and projection completely change your initiative (different base numbers AND dice rolls) whereas the above scheme only changes the dice. Can you elaborate? All the above does is basically give you a "free" OOB initiative pass at the cost of -2 to all physical in body actions.
I get why hackers would have caused the smoke break issues in previous editions but I've never run into that problem with magicians. What were they doing that took all that time? Most times a magician will just do a quick scout of some place to see the magical defences before returning to his body. If he can get in and give a basic outline of the building then the GM will just the players a map or quick sketch but usually there is some sort of magical defences preventing this sort of spying and the mage returns to his body.
Your Gm shouldn't be running astral quests or such when the other players can't join in. That's just bad GMing. That said, the 5th ed rules should take most of the smoke break tendencies out of the matrix now too, unless there is some multilevel, complex hack that just needs to be done.
I don't see the need for your rule but you can always try it for a session or two and see what happens. Honestly, I'd just try to get a better handle on the rules rather than trying this. The matrix description in 5th edition is the best I've seen yet and really makes it easy to describe for GMs. Astral space is already fairly well described. Having to learn to use different stats for astral or the matrix shouldn't be that big a deal either. Easy enough to put a space for them on a character sheet and just ask for them when needed.
Roy Fokker
QUOTE (Mantis @ Jul 21 2013, 10:39 PM) *
I get why hackers would have caused the smoke break issues in previous editions but I've never run into that problem with magicians. What were they doing that took all that time? Most times a magician will just do a quick scout of some place to see the magical defences before returning to his body.

Over two different campaigns with several different players, the "quick scouting trips" usually turned into solo shadowruns entirely on the astral plane if there was any competent astral/magical defense on the target. Seeing a patrolling spirit or two meant they had to defeat it as well as try to overcome any defenses/wards/corporate mages despite the hints that they'd just be remade yet again for the meat run the next day. Astral projection basically turned into a magical carbon copy of 30 minute solo decker matrix runs with all the inherent risks/delays/issues. And, yes, I tried both in game and out of game/character prodding/hinting/pleading to not do that but to no avail. I've learned my lesson and don't want to risk yet another third strike knocking out possible interest in another campaign. In 5th edition, all the players in the campaign I ran were completely new to shadowrun and they had a hard time grasping the core "meat" rules let alone the variations to the stats/attributes/skills that OOB stuff introduced (like changing how initiative is calculated).
Things to remember:

1) If a spirit is attacked, it can instantly inform its summoner. If it dies, it instantly informs its summoner.

2) If a mana barrier is attacked, it instantly informs its creator.

3) You can't astral project through the ground.

If someone decides to prod the astral defenses of a location, someone is going to find out about it, probably inside the combat turn that it happens. And they can call up the corporate Astral Ass-Kicking Squad, astral project, and be on top of the mage in two to three combat turns. If the sight of the Astral Ass-Kicking Squad isn't enough to send your guy packing, let him get his ass kicked.

And then when/if he gets away, let him find out that the site's magic/spirit defenses have been tripled for the next week or so to discourage the local riff-raff.

Regarding the Matrix, most of the rules in SR5 are now geared toward making unattended off-site hack-fests largely unwise.
SR5 has solved that for you.... Mystic Adepts get pretty much everything mages do BUT no astral projection.(yes, you have to buy the astral perception if you want it as mysad, but that is minor cost for decent ability)

So kickass mage without all the headachey projection driving the GM insane.

Course then you get the headache of said mysad having adept powers and spells all in one package to contend with, but hey it's all on the meat realm at least. biggrin.gif
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