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GloriousRuse
So, we've all played the game where the former special forces guy teams up with the absurdly powerful anti-establishment mage, the glacier shaving Decker, and the Face who can convince you to change sexualities, twice. And the rules are great at making that team.

Likewise, the Street level characters who are quite capable of outshooting most SWAT teams, and have incidentally just the right dump stats.

Even the best Character Role Players are rarely going to leave any serious action deficiencies, and usually have at least one specialty tweaked to well beyond professional competence.

But what if there was an alternate rule set, one that made the metahuman first, before any character consideration? One where you could see how your typical "fell-in-to the-shadows, didn't dive into it" character might be created.

The goal is not balanced, nor fair, character creation. It is, indeed, the opposite: to present an unfair, unoptimized, un-player balanced chargen where the world of shadowrun is dangerous, and scary. Where, by virtue of being "real" the environment and the players need to be respected and feared, not treated as a handy challenge for tonight's session.

The rules are always update-able, and I am seeking further input into their creation just as a pet project. Specifically skills and resources related to these things.

They do not include societal adjustments yet (for instance, you get the statistical chance of being a mage, without accounting for the vast likelihood corps would pick you up for corporate educating before the street ganger and therefore increase the odds he never considers cirminality), but if anyone has the numbers to run it, it might be interesting.

You'll need a d100 or similar percentile generating function.

Step 1. The basics

Roll Metatype (Seattle pop numbers used from Seattle 2072)
1-66 = Your human. Hooray.
67-79 = An elf, you might say you win the genetic lottery.
80-81 = Dwarf it is.
82-97 = Ork.
98+ = Troll

Roll stats (base + 2.5 used as the mean for a normal distribution with each point being a standard deviation)
Roll each stat using the following. This will give you slightly above average individuals (roughly priority B normally distributed) Downshift 1 level if the racial max is less than 6:
1-3: Base (Human 1)
4-18: Base + 1 (Human 2)
19 - 52: Base + 2 (Human 3)
53 - 84 : Base + 3 (Human 4)
84 - 98 : Base + 4 (Human 5)
99+: Roll Again -
IF 1-98, Base + 5 (Human 6)
IF 99+, Exceptional Attribute (Human 7)

If you want your characters even more pedestrian, her eis the same table centered on 3, which gives roughly priority C stats normally distributed.

Roll stats (base + 2 used as the mean for a normal distribution with each point being a standard deviation)
Roll each stat using the following. Downshift 1 level if the racial max is less than 6:
1-6: Base (Human 1 - this is slightly higher as it accommodates for all the standard devs that would be below base with the new left skew)
7-31: Base + 1 (Human 2)
32-69: Base + 2 (Human 3)
70-94 : Base + 3 (Human 4)
94-98 : Base + 4 (Human 5)
99: Base + 5
00: Roll Again
IF 1-98: Base + 5
IF 99-00: Exceptional Attribute

"Too weak to live" rule: If your attributes total up to less than or equal to (8 * base +1), you may reroll . E.g. a human with a combined total of 16 or less could reroll.

Step 1 complete. You now have whatever the fate's gifted you with.

Step 2. Did you Awaken?

1-97 = Nope. get over it, go to step 3. So, how long before you start to hate those magical haves when your a have not?
98 = Your a techno. Freak.
99-00 = Yes! Well, that was improbable. Roll Again:

1-33: Mage, well aren't you the shit. Roll Again
IF 1-50: True mage
IF 51-00: Aspected magician

34-40 = Mystic Adept.
41+ = Adept

Determine Magic Rating
(skewed left normal distribution centered on 2)
1-18: Magic 1
19-52: Magic 2
53-84: Magic 3
84 - 98: Magic 4
99: Roll Again
1-98: Magic 5
99-00: Magic 6

Step 3: What part of society are you from? (Derived from Seattle 2072, in the absence of meaningful stats, I've used education as a baseline for separating low and middle lifestyles. if anyone has accurate number on rough estimates for the SINless, it would help. Criminal SINs are pulled from felonies per thousand)
1-3: SINless, Street. As it implies, you do not have a SIN.
4-15: SINless, Squatter.
16-20: SINless, Low.
21: Criminal SIN, Squatter
22: Criminal SIN, Low
23-34: National SIN, Low.
35-52: National SIN, Low, Corporate Affiliation
53-60: Corporate Limited SIN, Low
61-71: National SIN, Middle
72-85: Corporate Limited SIN, Middle
85-92: Corporate SIN, Middle
93-97: Corporate SIN, High
98: National SIN, High
99-00: Roll Again
1-98: Your choice of SIN, High
99-00: Luxury. Corporate SIN, naturally.



NOTE: Beyond this rudimentary point needs serious work and contribution, because after being born into a silver spoon or appalling poverty, you could start shaping your life..somewhat. right now we are considering skills "packs" and some limited skillpoint expenditures base don background.
Wulffyre
This is awesome!

*thumbs up!*

I approve very much. How would you handle skills with that?
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
Sadly, you can accomplish all of that without all the effort you put into it. Just create your character with the goal in mind, and you are set. A Number of my characters are exactly what you propose. Schlubs that have been thrust into the Shadows and have to survive.
Dolanar
I'd say the best way to handle skills is a skill pack with specified levels, cannot be modded until after creation is done.
GloriousRuse
Skills, Resources, and Edge are indeed my current stumbling blocks. I suspect they would have to be tied into your social strata, and maybe have an advancement over time function as well.


QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 30 2013, 05:16 PM) *
Sadly, you can accomplish all of that without all the effort you put into it. Just create your character with the goal in mind, and you are set. A Number of my characters are exactly what you propose. Schlubs that have been thrust into the Shadows and have to survive.


Yes, but isn't it convenient that a team of said schlubs will have a mage, a decker (maybe not..they aren't too popular), a face, and still have enough firepower to handily persevere in what should result in 90% of them dying each time? Even in games that are nominally street/junior/ganger the likelihood of power creep into even the best of intentions is extremely high. And as a result, players do not fear or respect the environment. Why should they? they are, essentially, built for it.

This is about not giving you the choice to make the schlub you want, but deal with the schlub the world gave you.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (GloriousRuse @ Aug 30 2013, 02:54 PM) *
Yes, but isn't it convenient that a team of said schlubs will have a mage, a decker (maybe not..they aren't too popular), a face, and still have enough firepower to handily persevere in what should result in 90% of them dying each time? Even in games that are nominally street/junior/ganger the likelihood of power creep into even the best of intentions is extremely high. And as a result, players do not fear or respect the environment. Why should they? they are, essentially, built for it.

This is about not giving you the choice to make the schlub you want, but deal with the schlub the world gave you.


Why do you make that assumption? It does not have to be true.
You will get the jobs that your team is capable of. You will not be hired to fail, unless you are. smile.gif
Dolanar
Honestly, you are probably playing to a very small audience here, most people play games like shadowrun to create a character of their choosing, not play a character force fed down their throat, however, since you are trying to create a system without choice & option. best bet is to create package deals.

For instance a make package that fits a specific minor niche such as, Focus creation, create a skill package designed for that & only that. give each of these packages a number & make them roll for which package they get, then you let them run with it. for instance a "beginner B&E" package might have a specific set of skills all at rank 1, & then they can't boost it, even if some skills are useless to them in most situations. Resources you can make a chart with several different basic runner specs, cheap, low quality guns, etc low rating gear, & Edge you might as well just leave at the base for each race.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
SR4A had PACKS, which worked well for that, in my opinion. Both Versions. smile.gif
FuelDrop
Check out Chargen in the Traveler RPG. It's a fair model for what you're trying for.
Critias
I just whipped a guy together with a handfull of Invisible Castle rolls, and did Edge like a normal attribute roll.

I guess for skills you could base them off the free Knowledge/Language skill formula (only giving the "free" Active skills off Agility + Strength or some other pair of pretty 'active' attributes, instead of Logic + Intuition, of course), and just do a simple 1d6 per skill for starting levels.

Attach starting nuyen to that lifestyle/SIN roll, just by applying a multiplier to the regular "starting nuyen" extra cash you get based on lifestyle?
thorya
Tymeaus Jalynsfein are you really contributing anything by just telling people not to play the way they want, just because it's not how you play or make characters? Sometimes it's fun to have a random gen character (or an easy way to make random gen NPC).

For skills, may I suggest that you have use contacts to generate a list of appropriate background careers/skill trainings and then give skills equal to what the contact has (allow some portion to be reassigned). Here is my list using contacts from 4e. When multiple are given, pick the one that fits best.

Janitor, Blue Collar: 1-20
Ganger, drug dealer, petty criminal: 21-24
Bag Boy, courier, delivery truck driver: 25-26
Secretary, Retail, assistant: 27-40
Political Intern, Student: 41-45
Bar Tender, Waitress, Stripper: 46-55
Paramedic, Nurse, EMT, Med Student: 56-58
Taxi Driver: 59
Journalist, Blogger, Data entry: 60-67
Mechanic, Handiman, Skilled Blue Collar: 68-70
Small time politician, lobbyist, marketer, activist: 71-80
Hipster, Artiste, Socialite: 81-85
Street Doctor, Street Healer: 86-87
Club Owner, Slum Lord, Hotel Manager, Small Business Owner: 88-89
Programmer, IT, Cybersecurity: 90-93
Lawyer, Corporate Attorney: 94
Rent-a-cop, Lone Star Patrol, PI: 95
Corporate Scientist, Professor (without a corporate SIN, reroll): 96
Corporate Manager, City Bureaucrat (without a corporate SIN, reroll): 97-98
Corporate Trouble Shooter, Mr. Johnson, High Level executive: 99

Awakened:
Other Career (roll on table above): 1-50
Healer: 51-70
Talismonger: 71-74
Para-security: 75-95
Para-researcher: 96-99
vladski
Remember good ol' D&D? That was the point of rolling those six attributes. You never knew exactly what character you were coming up with. Depending on the exact method you used, you had some control, but still you might wind up with Joe Awesome for Everything, or you might wind up with Joe Barely Able in Anything. And you played that character and you took pride in that character when hey, he barely qualified to be a Ranger but I took him to 20 levels!

I completely get what the OP is going for here. But, at the same time, the finite control to build whatever character you can envision is one of the big draws to the SR game system. (And one of the things I really dislike about the new priority system in 5E!) Having an optional system, such as he proposes, is great for a table that wants to run a campaign like that, and I can see the draw. More power to you, GloriousRuse. The challenge of randomness can be exhilarating.

Vlad
Dolanar
Vladski there is a difference between randomly genned stats & having to fit a complete concept on a completely random character, the method mentioned means a player walks into the session having no idea of what he's playing until all dice have been rolled & then you have to take the dice rolls & fit a concept around what you've made, you won't even know if you're capable of casting magic until you roll the dice. Personally even with randomly generated stats in D&D I still walked in with concept & classes chosen to fit regardless of my stats.
RHat
Notionally, there may be an issue in which the numbers are set up to mirror total base rates, and thus failing to factor for possible/probable over/under-representations in the shadows. For example, I would expect to see a higher proportion of orks in the shadows than the general population.
Udoshi
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Aug 30 2013, 11:59 PM) *
Vladski there is a difference between randomly genned stats & having to fit a complete concept on a completely random character, the method mentioned means a player walks into the session having no idea of what he's playing until all dice have been rolled & then you have to take the dice rolls & fit a concept around what you've made, you won't even know if you're capable of casting magic until you roll the dice. Personally even with randomly generated stats in D&D I still walked in with concept & classes chosen to fit regardless of my stats.


What we actually have here is perhaps more appropriately called Roguelike mode characer creation.

Randomized stats, class, and gear! SIGN me up for a death on floor one!
toturi
QUOTE (GloriousRuse @ Aug 31 2013, 05:54 AM) *
Yes, but isn't it convenient that a team of said schlubs will have a mage, a decker (maybe not..they aren't too popular), a face, and still have enough firepower to handily persevere in what should result in 90% of them dying each time? Even in games that are nominally street/junior/ganger the likelihood of power creep into even the best of intentions is extremely high. And as a result, players do not fear or respect the environment. Why should they? they are, essentially, built for it.

This is about not giving you the choice to make the schlub you want, but deal with the schlub the world gave you.

Is this meant for a long term game? Or is it meant for a short term/one-shot? If the characters do not have enough firepower (by which I mean in the physical, social, and any other contests that they may encounter) to handily persevere in what should result in 90% of them dying each time? You will get 90% of them dying each time, you are likely to have to generate characters over and over and over again until you reach the team of un-schlubs in which case you could have simply created those un-schlubs in the first place.

If you want to deal with the schlub the world gave you, chances are that the player will not get attached to the character, statistically they are not going to survive pass the first few games.
Glyph
Yeah, Shadowrun is an incredibly lethal game, even with characters designed for it. Schlubs thrown into the shadows may "fear and respect the environment", but they will still have to deal with it, meaning a high mortality rate. Caution, tactics, and lateral thinking can only get you so far, even in a game like Shadowrun which encourages those things.

Plus, be prepared for characters of wildly different power levels. Even in games where everyone starts out with the same amount of karma or build points, characters range wildly up and down the power scale. What you are proposing is not like D&D, where you roll random stats but all start out as 1st level characters. This is more like D&D where you randomly roll for character level.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (thorya @ Aug 30 2013, 08:43 PM) *
Tymeaus Jalynsfein are you really contributing anything by just telling people not to play the way they want, just because it's not how you play or make characters? Sometimes it's fun to have a random gen character (or an easy way to make random gen NPC).


Indeed I am... I am saying that you can generate such a character, complete with foibles and Schlubness, by having that concept in mind before you start, and then building him/her within the actual character generation system that already exists. No tables or random rolls required. We all KNOW what a Schlub is, so just create one. It is not all that difficult.

And then expect him/her to die within the first game, as most schlubs would. *shrug* It takes great effort to keep such a character alive in Shadowrun, and when you can do it, great. Just don't expect it. wobble.gif
Draco18s
*Pulls out a d100 for a sample character*
*Rolls 00 on Step 2: Awaken*

Uh...
Critias
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 31 2013, 10:01 AM) *
Indeed I am... I am saying that you can generate such a character, complete with foibles and Schlubness, by having that concept in mind before you start, and then building him/her within the actual character generation system that already exists. No tables or random rolls required. We all KNOW what a Schlub is, so just create one. It is not all that difficult.

And then expect him/her to die within the first game, as most schlubs would. *shrug* It takes great effort to keep such a character alive in Shadowrun, and when you can do it, great. Just don't expect it. wobble.gif

Except that no, TJ, you're really not contributing anything. Someone is working on a project for fun, and you're telling them "you don't need to do that, you should have fun my way" over and over again, instead of actually adding anything positive. I think everyone here knows that they can make a character to suit a concept just fine. This is just offering them a way to do so with the clatter of dice, adding some old-school D&D-ness to the process.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Aug 31 2013, 11:31 AM) *
*Pulls out a d100 for a sample character*
*Rolls 00 on Step 2: Awaken*

Uh...



Think 00 means become Mentor Spirit/Paragon

Draco18s

Draco18s is one of the few Dragon Mentor Spirits seen to date, which is surprising given the amount of subconscious emotions dragons invoke in people and the general know-it-allness that most dragons seem to exude, though Draco18s has shown an almost undragonlike willingness to help others, granted it may require a deal or two, hence his role as Mentor.


(Will let Draco fill this in nyahnyah.gif )
Advantages:

ALL:
Magician:
Adept:

Disadvantages
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Critias @ Aug 31 2013, 10:04 AM) *
Except that no, TJ, you're really not contributing anything. Someone is working on a project for fun, and you're telling them "you don't need to do that, you should have fun my way" over and over again, instead of actually adding anything positive. I think everyone here knows that they can make a character to suit a concept just fine. This is just offering them a way to do so with the clatter of dice, adding some old-school D&D-ness to the process.


But the method given does not actually do that Critias, as others have already suggested. *shrug*
What the above method actually does is remove any creative input whatsoever from the process, relying completely upon the dice to generate a non-playable entity. Even DnD has creative input and player choice; so no, it is not injecting any old-school DnD-ness at all.
thorya
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 31 2013, 12:27 PM) *
But the method given does not actually do that Critias, as others have already suggested. *shrug*
What the above method actually does is remove any creative input whatsoever from the process, relying completely upon the dice to generate a non-playable entity. Even DnD has creative input and player choice; so no, it is not injecting any old-school DnD-ness at all.


Again, saying that it's wrong because you don't like it, is not contributing. *shrug*

Guess it's just a different way of playing. Must be different than your table. *shrug*

But since there are entire game systems that use this as a basis, there must be people that enjoy this. *shrug* Though, I had forgotten that it's a cardinal sin of Shadowrun to play in a different way than Tymeaus Jalynsfein. I'm glad you're here to remind us that your table is the special one true way to play, *shrug* but do you actually have anything to constructive to suggest in terms of making a random generated character?
Lantzer
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 31 2013, 05:27 PM) *
But the method given does not actually do that Critias, as others have already suggested. *shrug*
What the above method actually does is remove any creative input whatsoever from the process, relying completely upon the dice to generate a non-playable entity. Even DnD has creative input and player choice; so no, it is not injecting any old-school DnD-ness at all.


TJ, what he's trying to do there has been done in other games, to greater or lesser degrees. They sometimes get quite complex (sometimes called Lifepath generation). Now, the best of these systems usually have a few choices you make along the way, but these are usually oriented towards "what direction does this character go professionally with those stats" to generate skill packages and the like.

Once in a Mekton game, a freind was quite amused when he randomly generated a character who could be mistaken for Ranma Saotome: abilities, social situation, and all.

Whether you like these setups is a matter of taste and genre. Sometimes I find them fun, & sometimes they get in the way of fun.
Sendaz
The Classic Traveller RPG character generation actually was a lot of fun despite being largely dice rolled with barely any choices to be made along the way.

Most of your skills came from the rolls as well as your career path up thru generation determined the majority of what you knew.

Plus any chargen system that had a fair chance of death before you even get finished making made for interesting moments. Chargen became almost a mini-game in itself.
Though now I hear the Mongoose version has toned it down a bit from death to life-changing events that put the kebosh on the current career, but still it can be fun and does not necessarly provide lifeless cut-outs that the players can not enjoy.

And you still get some creativity as the chargen lays out the broad strokes but you fill in the fine lines.

In one review I saw for it, the write pointed out that events from chargen which happen to coincide suggest linkages with the characters. For example, two players were ejected from the Navy and Army respectively due to military disasters blamed on them by their commanders, which has led us to infer that about 8-12 years before the campaign started there was a big war which both characters were involved in – and in fact it there was an officer further up the chain who framed both of them to cover some little shenanigans he had been pulling on the side and had to hang some bodies to cover his tracks.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 31 2013, 11:17 AM) *
Think 00 means become Mentor Spirit/Paragon

Draco18s

Draco18s is one of the few Dragon Mentor Spirits seen to date, which is surprising given the amount of subconscious emotions dragons invoke in people and the general know-it-allness that most dragons seem to exude, though Draco18s has shown an almost undragonlike willingness to help others, granted it may require a deal or two, hence his role as Mentor.


(Will let Draco fill this in nyahnyah.gif )
Advantages:

ALL:
Magician:
Adept:

Disadvantages


Hehe.

Advantages:
+2 dice to resist mana spells
Disadvantages:
Compulsion to make snarky comments.

[Thoughts: I wanted to do +2 Willpower, but that would have been a bit much. The idea being that I'm generally stubborn and tend to be rather blunt and rough around the edges.]

Anyway, the point I was making is that you don't account for 00 in most of your charts. Stats doesn't make mention of it, none of the steps in Magic, nor Step 3 (background).
Chrome Head
This is a really great idea, if for nothing else than to get a feeling about what a normally distributed set of attributes looks like in the SR world.

I'd aim for an average of 3 instead of 3.5, however, given that 3 is meant to be the average. Your current scheme leads to average attributes of 20, or priority B, which is also the maximum you were allowed to give a character in SR4, and this seems way too high to me. An average of 3 gives the equivalent a priority C to attributes, on average, which is more reasonable.

For those interested, I rolled one character just for fun, which looked like the following (absolutely NOT a schlub, but that's not the reasoning behind my suggestion of lower stats, just a lucky illustration of the problem -- then again, it has 21 attributes and the average is 20, so he's relatively average, according to the current scheme):
[ Spoiler ]
Critias
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 31 2013, 10:27 AM) *
But the method given does not actually do that Critias, as others have already suggested. *shrug*
What the above method actually does is remove any creative input whatsoever from the process, relying completely upon the dice to generate a non-playable entity. Even DnD has creative input and player choice; so no, it is not injecting any old-school DnD-ness at all.

That's not the question that was asked of you. No one asked you to just repeat your argument. What was asked is "are you really contributing anything by..." And you're not. You're really not. You're just saying, over and over again, that you don't like this stuff, and other people shouldn't like this stuff, and they don't need this stuff because they can just make a character like you do. You're not just saying you don't like it and then leaving the thread, you're coming back to say it's badwrongfun over and over, and derailing the conversation by doing so.

That's not really contributing anything.

*shrug*
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Critias @ Aug 31 2013, 01:08 PM) *
That's not the question that was asked of you. No one asked you to just repeat your argument. What was asked is "are you really contributing anything by..." And you're not. You're really not. You're just saying, over and over again, that you don't like this stuff, and other people shouldn't like this stuff, and they don't need this stuff because they can just make a character like you do. You're not just saying you don't like it and then leaving the thread, you're coming back to say it's badwrongfun over and over, and derailing the conversation by doing so.

That's not really contributing anything.

*shrug*



And that is just your opinion. *shrug*
After all, I am not the one being antagonistic. I offered my opinion and Input, as the topic asked.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (thorya @ Aug 31 2013, 10:17 AM) *
Again, saying that it's wrong because you don't like it, is not contributing. *shrug*


Never said it was Wrong, Just that I did not like it and there were better ways to accomplish such a (mundane, average, and a more statistically represented archetype) character without randomness.

QUOTE
Guess it's just a different way of playing. Must be different than your table. *shrug*


Indeed... Again, does not make it wrong.

QUOTE
But since there are entire game systems that use this as a basis, there must be people that enjoy this. *shrug* Though, I had forgotten that it's a cardinal sin of Shadowrun to play in a different way than Tymeaus Jalynsfein. I'm glad you're here to remind us that your table is the special one true way to play, *shrug* but do you actually have anything to constructive to suggest in terms of making a random generated character?


Name one that is Totally Random. I can't. *shrug*
And your sniping misses the mark, Thorya. I really can't care less what you think about my table. *shrug*
thorya
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 31 2013, 04:18 PM) *
Name one that is Totally Random. I can't. *shrug*
And your sniping misses the mark, Thorya. I really can't care less what you think about my table. *shrug*


And yet you bring your table up incessantly when being disrespectful to other people because they don't play the way you like. So I'll ask you one last time, do you have anything constructive to add?

Deadlands has random generation elements. There are rules to play D&D with a completely random build (and I have even played a game using one of these characters, she was awesome). Gamma world. Even more that have random NPC generation. It's not different than any game with pre-made characters that you play at a convention or for a one-shot. It is possible to roleplay without a point buy system.
GloriousRuse
Chrome: Thank you for that observation. I'll consider it a target 3 for the next update, though that will result in a slight left skew on the 1-6 scale.

Thorya: That's a nice background list. I may have to plagiarize a bit.

Draco: Good catch. For some reason I was thinking 1-99. I'll incorporate 00...and maybe even the spirit idea wink.gif

Sendaz
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Aug 31 2013, 02:51 PM) *
Hehe.

Advantages:
+2 dice to resist mana spells
Disadvantages:
Compulsion to make snarky comments.

[Thoughts: I wanted to do +2 Willpower, but that would have been a bit much. The idea being that I'm generally stubborn and tend to be rather blunt and rough around the edges.]


Heh, So let's see.

Mentor Spirit- Draco18s

One of the few Dragon Mentor Spirits noted to date, which is unusual given the sort of impact dragons have had.

Draco18s is the Draconic form of the Ultimate Big Sibling, as the Elder Race looking after the Younger Race while they stumble through their childhood phase.
It is their duty to help teach these cubs, but does not suffer fools lightly. Definitely of the tough love school the usual modus operandi is 'Aid and Upbraid' offering help with one hand while wagging the finger with the usual draconic We-know-more-than-you-do-so-pay-attention and leaves them with a reputation as being quite stubborn and abrupt.

Advantages:
ALL: +2 dice to resist Mana based Spells, Whether its a spell trying to sap their will or cloud their minds, their sheer stubbornness (and dragon like ego) serves them well in this.
Magician: +2 dice for Spells, preparations and rituals in the Detection Category. Always ready to determine the truth of the matter and not afraid to tell you it.
Adept: Free Kinesis (never let them see you sweat), One Free Improved Sense (All seeing, yada yada yada..)

Disadvantages:
When giving aid, assistance or advice you must roll Willpower + Charisma (3) to avoid making a snarky comment about how it could have been done better/faster/easier or could have avoided the whole problem altogether.

Similar Archtypes: Tutor, Leadership


Again for some ideas for roll up characters, there are a few free start ups on rpgnow to download like Book 0 for Traveller. Just a bit of tweaking of the backgrounds like thorya's list and you got a nifty baseline to work from.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Aug 31 2013, 01:59 AM) *
Vladski there is a difference between randomly genned stats & having to fit a complete concept on a completely random character, the method mentioned means a player walks into the session having no idea of what he's playing until all dice have been rolled & then you have to take the dice rolls & fit a concept around what you've made, you won't even know if you're capable of casting magic until you roll the dice. Personally even with randomly generated stats in D&D I still walked in with concept & classes chosen to fit regardless of my stats.


Depending on the edition the stats may have been rolled in order. So your class while not forced was heavily determined by the rolls. 7 Dex, sorry can't be a thief etc.

It is an interesting idea especially with how magic is supposed to be rare thing. Personally I'd give a few more % points in to the magic chance, while magic might be 1% of the pop mages are concentrated in certain fields so the mage in runner pop is probably higher like 5-10%.

Skills maybe have a die roll for # of skills per skill category like combat, technical then a roll for 1-6 for determining the level of the skill. Need to be a mage or technomnacer to roll on those skill groups.
FuelDrop
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Sep 1 2013, 02:48 AM) *
The Classic Traveller RPG character generation actually was a lot of fun despite being largely dice rolled with barely any choices to be made along the way.

Most of your skills came from the rolls as well as your career path up thru generation determined the majority of what you knew.

Plus any chargen system that had a fair chance of death before you even get finished making made for interesting moments. Chargen became almost a mini-game in itself.
Though now I hear the Mongoose version has toned it down a bit from death to life-changing events that put the kebosh on the current career, but still it can be fun and does not necessarly provide lifeless cut-outs that the players can not enjoy.

And you still get some creativity as the chargen lays out the broad strokes but you fill in the fine lines.

In one review I saw for it, the write pointed out that events from chargen which happen to coincide suggest linkages with the characters. For example, two players were ejected from the Navy and Army respectively due to military disasters blamed on them by their commanders, which has led us to infer that about 8-12 years before the campaign started there was a big war which both characters were involved in and in fact it there was an officer further up the chain who framed both of them to cover some little shenanigans he had been pulling on the side and had to hang some bodies to cover his tracks.

Traveller gives control to the player in several ways.
1: They get to pick their career (they might not make the roll to get into said career, but at least they got the choice)
2: They get to pick their branch within that career and thus influence A) what skills they get and B) what progression bonuses they get.
3: If the roll on the life events table for the term gives you one of X skills, you get to pick which one.

Combine this with the select your homeworld (which gives you some skills at level 0) and your profession's service skills (You get 6 skills related to your profession at level 0) and you can actively control no less than 8 of your starting skills quite effectively.
With lifepath generation the player should be involved to guide the character's growth as often as possible. Just rolling dice for everything and playing the result reduces the emotional connection and can have the opposite effect to making the character more metahuman as the player regards them as just a collection of dice rolls.

It's a fine line to walk.
Glyph
The comparisons to other random character creation systems are not quite accurate, to me. The difference is that those systems still created random characters. This system seems to create random pedestrians.

Look, I've done games where character creation is more random, like D&D and the old Gamma World, and I know how fun and exhilarating the addition of that random element can be. And I can see the appeal of a variant game where the characters are average, everyday people who get suddenly uprooted from their lives and thrust into a dangerous environment, like Rock in Black Lagoon.

The trouble is, I have a hard time seeing how it could really work. I have played in too many games where my badass, optimized characters got shot to hell, or escaped by the skin of their teeth, or died gloriously (or ignominiously). So, great, you're a data entry clerk from Renraku who lost his job, and you're out on the mean streets with nothing but a datajack and a few middling computer (non-hacking) skills. So what do you do? What kind of "shadowrunning" jobs can this person do? How can he defend himself against even common muggers? Sure, the character will be a lot more fearful of challenges that shadowrunners take in stride, but is that a good thing, if you're planning on this guy eventually, somehow, becoming a shadowrunner? And having an entire group of similar randomly-rolled people would be even more difficult to have any kind of game with.
Shinobi Killfist
I don't know, 1e d&d used 3d6 as the default roll method which created pretty average dudes in a really swingy way.

And in 4e we did a 200 point game with a starting stat and skill cap of 3 before racial mods and we got by. We did more street crime level runs but we got by,

The problem with random in team based games is usually the wide possible range makes some players unhappy and it makes it harder for the GM to plan the opposition level.
Critias
For random-based games, I've been a fan of using one set of rolls for the whole team. Let everyone arrange 'em however they want to, but that gives a pretty level playing field, at least. In theory.
DrZaius
I like the idea in concept; shadowrunners in general have always struck me as too powerful out of the gate (causing an arms race with the GM to balance encounters). I'll add a few notes:

1) I think there should be more mages. Being magically active (if you don't have a SIN, or have a criminal SIN) lends itself towards being a shadowrunner. They are uncommon in the general populace, but fairly common among shadowrunning teams (partially due to players wanting to play mages, and partially due to that being a useful skill to bring to the table).

2) To refine this concept further, I recommend you check out various OSR type character generation rules. In particular, I believe "Swords & Sorcery" is a free version; "Dungeon Crawl Classics" I think refines the concept to an art. In DCC, you roll your race, your stats, and your profession. Your profession comes with 1 item that you are skilled in. For example, if you are lucky enough to roll "caravan guard" you start with a sword, a "Slave" starts with a club and "an interesting looking rock". I believe you start with 1d4 hitpoints. Here comes the fun part: each player makes 5-6 of these characters. The first adventure is generally referred to as a "funnel". Once they gain enough experience to level up, they can choose a class; but before then, they are remarkably vulnerable. The idea is that you start with 15-20 characters, and through your first session the players end up with about 1 who actually survives to the end. Very fun and memorable.
Draco18s
QUOTE (FuelDrop @ Aug 31 2013, 06:35 PM) *
Traveller gives control to the player in several ways.
1: They get to pick their career (they might not make the roll to get into said career, but at least they got the choice)
2: They get to pick their branch within that career and thus influence A) what skills they get and B) what progression bonuses they get.
3: If the roll on the life events table for the term gives you one of X skills, you get to pick which one.


I tried to do a Traveller like generation system for SR4.

It did not go well.
Chrome Head
About creating a pedestrian. I agree that this is exactly what the OP's system is there for.

You probably have to adjust the whole game if you want to have fun with crappy starting characters, but it can really be loads of fun. Start the game as a pretty dumb, off-the-shelf corp dude, but have him become a lot more by developing him through a series of unlikely and unsettling events. He might eventually grow into a decently powerful shadowrunner! The key to me, would be to give very generous karma awards (or change karma costs to skills = new rating x 1 in karma, for example, or even give skills rating 1 as rewards), and eventually make sure they have access to interesting resources (through nuyen, or interesting gadgets). Let the players have their PCs grow into something much more, as they see fit. Bring back qualities like latent awakening where some dude turns out to have a magic of 1 after all, and let him learn gradually how to use it. It's just a completely different game of shadowrun within the same universe. Just think outside the box and all parties involved can have a blast, I'm sure.

Glyph
Yeah, that's how I would handle it too, probably, but that would kind of defeat the purpose of the OP, which was to have the characters be appropriately fearful of the challenges that runners routinely face. It kind of undermines that when the GM holds everyone's hands and makes things fall into place for them by GM fiat. I do agree with the karma rules - unless early karma rewards are substantial (likewise cash awards, or the equivalent in augmentations), it would take forever to get a street-level schlub up to even beginning/wannabe runner level.
Chrome Head
I agree, but I assume we're all veteran roleplaying gamers/GMs here. You adjust what you do to what you have in front of you. I agree that one way to increase the lethality of the game by having characters not as godly as they currently can be is one way to achieve this without ignoring the setting completely (yay red samurais riding military helicopters on every run, otherwise it's a walk in the park!). However, it makes no sense that anyone would even consider employing a schlub for anything outside of a retardedly easy run that involves killing off the schlubs at the end to leave no trace, neither in the corporate world nor the shadows (clearly no one knows of them yet).

You have to adjust what you throw at the characters otherwise there is no fun at all. Clearly, to have such noobs out on the street doing important things for some reason, means that something very out of the ordinary is going on (for them at least). And they should be getting better at it quickly. 'Better' not necessarily meaning good by shadowrunning standards. They will have a hard time, and death will be more likely, but at least everyone can have some fun.
Dolanar
also without being able to ensure there are the right people for the job, the GM has to run fairly vanilla encounters, If there is no decker, then there is minimal hacking to be done on the job, etc.
RHat
QUOTE (Dolanar @ Aug 31 2013, 08:29 PM) *
also without being able to ensure there are the right people for the job, the GM has to run fairly vanilla encounters, If there is no decker, then there is minimal hacking to be done on the job, etc.


AKA, the Missions Problem?

I am curious, though, whether the intent of the system is to produce Joe Average, or Joe Shadowrunner - the numbers for the two, after all, would need to be very different.
Chrome Head
As it is presented, it is pretty clear to me that it is Joe Average, imo, not Joe Shadowrunner, since we have the population distributions of stats/races/backgrounds, not shadowrunner ones. Shadowrunners have higher stats (especially body and willpower? nyahnyah.gif), fewer elves and humans in proportions, more street level and SINless backgrounds, and so on. At least from my interpretation of the setting from what I've read.
Dolanar
well, since running is more or less turning to a life of crime, lets compare any of us as Joe Average, how many of us could say we could survive in the shadows if we needed to make money & this was the only option available to us? I personally might be able to become a hacker or something of the like, but I would need lots of training to do so. I would say it takes a certain type of personality to be able to run the shadows well & survive. Much like it takes a certain type of person to become a "good" modern day criminal who doesn't get caught.
RHat
I will say that this can be interesting for putting together quick NPCs or getting started on a concept if you're not sure what you want to play - I might put together a digital GM's screen of sorts at some point, where something like this could be pretty handy.

Examples:

[ Spoiler ]
Dolanar
so I went ahead & gave it a shot, here is my result, I named him Max:

Troll

B-7 A-5 R-5 S-7 W-4 L-3 I-4 C-4 E-3

Not awakened

National SIN, Middle

pretty beefy in the physical department, but still fairly low for a troll, could probably make a decent Street Sam or a Heavy depending on what skills he ended up with. Also...one stat had to be reduced due to racial maximums (cha down from 5 to 4), but 2 stats are also at racial maximums, so this would have to rebalance some way...either that or the GM has to tell someone that their lucky roll is pointless so you have to lose another point.
xsansara
I agree that the attributes actually seem to be too high. A GM rolled 3d6 and divided by 3 (rounded down) to determine random attributes for random passer-bys then apply race modifier. That gives about 3 on average and you don't need a table to check.

Unlike Traveller, I think, you should have more options and less stages:

Childhood: (choose or roll d6)

1-3: You went to school. -> roll Logic + Charisma [3], if you succeed you get 70 Karma to spend on school related skills and a degree; otherwise you get 40 Karma to spend on non-school related skills

4: Hang with a gang. -> roll Body+Str [3], if you succeed you get 40 Karma to spend on gang-related skills and 10 Karma for gang contacts and 50 000 Nuyen in loot (used quality only); otherwise you die

5: train with a mage -> roll Logic+Willpower [4] or Charisma+Willpower [4], if you succeed you get 40 Karma to spend on magic-related skills and Magic 1 as a magical type of your choice; otherwise you get Arcana 3 and 30 Karma to spend on whatever you like

6: survive in the wilderness -> roll Body + Reaction [4], if you succeed, you get Survival 4, Magic 1 as an Adept and 30 Karma to spend on non-interlectual skills, otherwise you die

Coming of age trauma: ...

Young adult: ...
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