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garner_adam
Any one here been using the Street Scum rules on p. 354? I've been playing with them for a bit and at first it seemed like a great way to start small and grow big. (Increased karma and cash rewards in this game) But there's a few things that have been strange. Characters with magic priorities seem to be leagues ahead of their counterparts in this rule set. Particularly the adept compared to the street samurai.

The table wants to play a game where characters start weak and grow big but everyone has acknowledged that you can skip half the process by playing an adept. Any one deal with this? Any elegant solutions? I could just disallow them for this game but that wouldn't be fun. I also could very carefully watch adept and mage character creation but that sort of stifles creative character building. Any tips on these street-level games would be nice.

Thanks
RHat
Are youcombining those rules with the character creation chapter's Street Level rules? Because I would advise against those.

Otherwise, I'm not sure where the Magicrun issue comes in, as those rules are a pretty even limiter... Suppose adepts do get to max out their defining priority, but the loss of A attributes or skills hits the pretty hard...
Moirdryd
At the end if the day the only way of doing it is disallowing magic, or reducing the number of spells and power points people start with (complete with a rationale of not allowing mentor spirits either). The problem with Street Scum games is that by Sixth World mythos cyber costs money and connections (which the theme if the scum game is the opposite of) but Magic is an inborn trait (which means being born in the heart of the barrens makes no real difference) true Mages need to study to refine their abilities, but Shaman normally make Totem contact when they Awaken and Adept abilities are initially often innate expressions.

The World balances this by the rarity of Magic, the only way to simulate that for chargen would be roll D% if you get a 01 then you can take a Magic priority.
RHat
QUOTE (Moirdryd @ Mar 2 2014, 07:20 PM) *
At the end if the day the only way of doing it is disallowing magic, or reducing the number of spells and power points people start with (complete with a rationale of not allowing mentor spirits either). The problem with Street Scum games is that by Sixth World mythos cyber costs money and connections (which the theme if the scum game is the opposite of) but Magic is an inborn trait (which means being born in the heart of the barrens makes no real difference) true Mages need to study to refine their abilities, but Shaman normally make Totem contact when they Awaken and Adept abilities are initially often innate expressions.

The World balances this by the rarity of Magic, the only way to simulate that for chargen would be roll D% if you get a 01 then you can take a Magic priority.


Street Scum games don't restrict chargen cash heavily enough for that to be true, balance wise.
garner_adam
Nah I got some advice earlier this year to steer clear of the street-level rules. Those are pretty clearly super magickrun. So just using the Street Scum rules on p. 354. At the table a discussion between the players revealed the issue. One player decided to make an adept with one C and then also took resources with the other C. Then compared that character to the ones the others had made.

It became very evident that the rules were in a weird spot when our decker saw his own character vastly improved by making it a decker-adept. The rest of the night was mostly spent making bizarre street level samurai and faces and so on with out adept and then just swapping priorities and making adept. The result was always much stronger and everyone agreed that this was a bad thing.

On the topic of reducing spells or power points how much are you talking? It's not hard in this system to get a 6 magic. The high magic attribute is pretty important for the character's dice pools.
thorya
You could shift the priority of magic up one, so that it's a bigger trade off. So that the highest the players can get is priority B, but it costs priority A.

Priority A: Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 4, two Rating 4 magical skills, 7 spells etc.
Priority B: Magician or Mystic Adept: Magic 3, 5 spells etc.
Priority C: Adept: Magic 2 or Aspected Magician: Magic 2
Priority D: -
Priority E: -

So they can still play a magic 6 adept, but its a bigger cost. It won't completely fix the problem, but it will lessen it without keeping anyone from going the magic route if they want to.

Alternately, give bonus karma for qualities or skills or some other balancing thing for taking low magic priority. So that people that are playing mundanes get something to balance out the power and encourage the magic users to play lower end.

Something like, add these to the magic priorities:

Priority D: +10 karma for qualities.
Priority E: +20 karma for qualities, +2 edge

Just spitballing here, but then you help balance out mundanes and keep the power level the same without losing the low cash gritty feel.
RHat
No A in Street Scum.

A Resources C Sam can get R2 Muscle Replacement and R1 Wired Reflexes and have 2 Essence plus 71k remaining; thats 5.5 Power Points worth of bonus. Don't see how you'd be better as an adept at that point...
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (RHat @ Mar 2 2014, 11:20 PM) *
No A in Street Scum.

A Resources C Sam can get R2 Muscle Replacement and R1 Wired Reflexes and have 2 Essence plus 71k remaining; thats 5.5 Power Points worth of bonus. Don't see how you'd be better as an adept at that point...


My guess is they are devaluing edge. Phys adept with C trots out with his 6 magic, 3 edge. The street sam takes some hard choices like muscle replacement so is c resources goes further, so he looks worse. But then again he does have a 5 edge.

In my experience so far it does not seem like magicrun. Though I will point out when it comes to deckers, adepts just do it better. I freaking hate it, but ever since they got rid of the magic types don't work well on the matrix thing from earlier editions adepts just do it better when it comes to decking. An extra 3 dice is an extra 3 dice.
RHat
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Mar 2 2014, 08:43 PM) *
My guess is they are devaluing edge. Phys adept with C trots out with his 6 magic, 3 edge. The street sam takes some hard choices like muscle replacement so is c resources goes further, so he looks worse. But then again he does have a 5 edge.

In my experience so far it does not seem like magicrun. Though I will point out when it comes to deckers, adepts just do it better. I freaking hate it, but ever since they got rid of the magic types don't work well on the matrix thing from earlier editions adepts just do it better when it comes to decking. An extra 3 dice is an extra 3 dice.


Until we see more hacker 'ware, you're probably right.
garner_adam
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Mar 2 2014, 07:43 PM) *
My guess is they are devaluing edge. Phys adept with C trots out with his 6 magic, 3 edge. The street sam takes some hard choices like muscle replacement so is c resources goes further, so he looks worse. But then again he does have a 5 edge.

In my experience so far it does not seem like magicrun. Though I will point out when it comes to deckers, adepts just do it better. I freaking hate it, but ever since they got rid of the magic types don't work well on the matrix thing from earlier editions adepts just do it better when it comes to decking. An extra 3 dice is an extra 3 dice.


Muscle replacement definitely looks good. But what we're seeing is players who mix the archetypes. They'll take C resources and C magic. So now you're looking at a character with 5 magic who took Improved Reflexes level 3 p.310 and can afford to use their resources to add augmentations such as Muscle Replacement. This of course is not factoring in the starting karma.

I hadn't considered that edge was being devalued. I suppose with enough edge it's just like having Improved Reflexes.
thorya
QUOTE (RHat @ Mar 2 2014, 10:20 PM) *
No A in Street Scum.

A Resources C Sam can get R2 Muscle Replacement and R1 Wired Reflexes and have 2 Essence plus 71k remaining; thats 5.5 Power Points worth of bonus. Don't see how you'd be better as an adept at that point...


Oh, didn't realize that. I was thinking that the only thing that changed was the amount of nuyen you got for each level of resources.
Drace
You could always remove the ability to up magic in chargen. Also if the game is played in the barrens there is the background count to add in.

Plus factor in the "geek the Mage first" rule of the streets. If there is a heavily cybered thug with an assault rifle taking down people left right and center, he still won't be seen by the enemy as the same threat as the guy who is having fire shoot from his fingers and generally being all magelike. Nor the guy who is running up and down walls, punching cars and has glowing tattoos.

Have you tried talking to your group? Perhaps as a group figure out how to deal with it in this situation, atleast until perhaps another chargen ruleset comes out that can do magic low street level games.
Drace
You could always remove the ability to up magic in chargen. Also if the game is played in the barrens there is the background count to add in.

Plus factor in the "geek the Mage first" rule of the streets. If there is a heavily cybered thug with an assault rifle taking down people left right and center, he still won't be seen by the enemy as the same threat as the guy who is having fire shoot from his fingers and generally being all magelike. Nor the guy who is running up and down walls, punching cars and has glowing tattoos.

Have you tried talking to your group? Perhaps as a group figure out how to deal with it in this situation, atleast until perhaps another chargen ruleset comes out that can do magic low street level games.
Shinobi Killfist
QUOTE (garner_adam @ Mar 3 2014, 12:06 AM) *
Muscle replacement definitely looks good. But what we're seeing is players who mix the archetypes. They'll take C resources and C magic. So now you're looking at a character with 5 magic who took Improved Reflexes level 3 p.310 and can afford to use their resources to add augmentations such as Muscle Replacement. This of course is not factoring in the starting karma.

I hadn't considered that edge was being devalued. I suppose with enough edge it's just like having Improved Reflexes.


I guess that is a decent build, but you end up with what D in attributes and E in skills?

B attributes, C resources, D human, e mundane, e skills looks a lot better to me though. Going fast is nice but 6 points in attributes is better IMO. In your build sure, you get 3 reaction and +3d6 initiative, and 1 essence in cyber. In RHat suggested c reosurce build with magic as a E, that lets you bump something else quite a bit.with my exmaple of B in attributes, and RHats suggested ware, you get 6 more in attributes, +3/3 strength/agility +1 reaction and +1d6 initiative dice. My money is on the B attribute street sam, attributes are king in this edition. Oh and they get a really sweet 5 edge.
RHat
QUOTE (garner_adam @ Mar 2 2014, 10:06 PM) *
Muscle replacement definitely looks good. But what we're seeing is players who mix the archetypes. They'll take C resources and C magic. So now you're looking at a character with 5 magic who took Improved Reflexes level 3 p.310 and can afford to use their resources to add augmentations such as Muscle Replacement. This of course is not factoring in the starting karma.

I hadn't considered that edge was being devalued. I suppose with enough edge it's just like having Improved Reflexes.


Let's follow this for a second. You spend an entire priority on +3d6 Initiative and +3 Reaction. You than cannot take more than 1.0 Essence worth of 'ware without losing powers (and that's assuming you spend your Metatype point on Magic). I'm almost wondering if you've been factoring Magic loss for Essence loss properly. And when you don't have as much to spend, you wind up getting the more Essence-intensive 'ware. Resources B/Attributes C/Skills D/Magic E/Human E lets you get WR2 (3.0 Essence remaining, 149k spent), Alpha MR2 (1.4 Essence remaining, 209k spent), and BDA3 (0.5 Essence remaining, 224k spent). Assuming max Karma spent on nuyen, you've got 71k left. Take attributes as 3(6 for damage resistance)/5(7)/4(6)/4(6)/3/2(10 Karma)/3/2(10 Karma). 2 Rating 6 combat skills (Automatics and Unarmed, I suggest), Stealth and Athletics groups with Karma. This leaves you with 71k, 10 Karma (assuming maximum negative qualities, maybe stuff like Incompetent (Electronics/Acting/Biotech), Mild to Moderate Cram addiction, Outspoken Predjudice against a specific group, Criminal SIN...), and 10 skill points to work with.

Equip yourself with a pair of Crusader II's, an Ingram or 2, and something like an Alpha or AK-97; grab an Armour Jacket and Lined Coat (consider Shock Frills), grab the Riot Shield because Riot Shield, get the Avalon for security purposes, R1-3 Cybereyes with Smartlink... The mundane Sam has a lot to offer.

There's an alternative CCDDE that uses Resources/Attributes/Skills/Metatype/Magic; with the lower resources, you take WR1 and Used MR3, and still get the cybereyes (for the wireless smartlink). Or you can take that build, lose some Edge and take the attributes to B... No shortage of good options for the mundane that lose a lot going in for the Magic.

QUOTE (thorya @ Mar 2 2014, 10:49 PM) *
Oh, didn't realize that. I was thinking that the only thing that changed was the amount of nuyen you got for each level of resources.


No, that's the Street Level rules in the chargen chapter, which personally I would recommend never using. The Street Scum rules instead have you pick BCDEE or CCDDE; Resources B still offers 275k.
garner_adam
Thanks for the help so far.RHat, admittedly I was just spit-balling the most immediate example I could think of. The actual players usually build their characters to get all the magic points and as you noted use that priority just to acquire cyberware they couldn't afford other wise. The group had been worried about everyone playing mages but I think we're all just having a knee jerk reaction now (seeing how edge can make a big difference). It's also worth noting that we had forgotten that you can choose BCDEE or CCDDE. We'd just been playing CCDDE this whole time (in two different games).

The other concern the players had was with initiation p.324. Some feel that this is the fast track to upgrading characters. Considering that the first grade costs about 26,000 in converted karma but could easily provide 60,000+ in perks (say taking improved reflexes from 2 to 3). More knee jerk on our part?

Ultimately the goal for our street scum game is to start small and grow big. If it helps, looking over the notes our runs are awarding about 20,000 and 9 karma per player.
Shinobi Killfist
There are growth concerns in any style of shadowrun, but street scum which might have lower cash payouts can create issues. I ran my gorup through 6 adventures so far in 5e, 4 were missions adventures, sprawl wilds I think its called one was mad eup by me, and the other was storm front. The missions games are maic run IMO because they hand out barely enough money to make rent, while stacking up decent karma. Storm front on the other hand had the group pulling down about 250,000 a piece in nuyen with 8 -10 karma. The street sam and rigger loved that one. You got to find a balance in the rewards, if you want to keep the cahs low for the street fell make sure karma is low as well with maybe some bonus karma for specific expenditures.
Tecumseh
Street-level games have been my favorite since 2nd Edition. I've been running one for about 20 months now and when I do the math I find that a little less than half the PCs have been magicians or adepts (and, of those, more adepts than magicians). If you're playing a "magic is rare / fear it" environment then this might be too many for you, but otherwise I've found that people play by flavor rather than mechanical supremacy. Perhaps your group specializes more or is more combat intensive than ours (which is 75% RP / 25% combat).

Some thoughts based on my experiences:

1) I capped skill levels and provided guidelines for dice pools. This helped and, in fact, gives players the freedom to spread out a little more rather than dumping their finite skill points into one or two specializations. I always recommend this for street-level games.

2) I capped Magic in part to guard against Magicrun. I capped it at 3 for mystic adepts and 4 for everyone else, but if I had to do it all over again I'd knock it down another point, maybe even two depending on how gritty you want to get. Make it so that buying the next Magic point is competitive cost-wise with initiating. Use and enforce the Initiation rules, namely the need for Arcana and the non-running downtime that initiation requires.

3) Be conscious of Edge, how often it refreshes, and how often dice are rolled. In a low-power game, high Edge ratings can really throw your dice pools out of whack, especially if your group RPs more, rolls less, and the players can afford to Edge every roll. (Who needs wired reflexes when a point of Edge will buy five initiative dice? Mr. Lucky can do that all night long.) I had to slow the Edge refresh rate down significantly to adjust for this, which made the use of Edge tactical instead of automatic.

4) If there are still concerns about Magic being too dominant, allow the mundanes to spend their E priority on a second dose of Resources (an extra 6,000) instead of getting nothing for Magic E. If mundanes need a LOT of help/encouragement, allow them to take a second priority of Resources at any level.

5) Normally I would be offering advice to make sure the monetary rewards of your missions are keeping pace with the karma awards, since the Awakened benefit disproportionately from karma, but it sounds like you've already adjusted for that. I've been too tight with money in my game because I wanted the players to be scrappy and resourceful, but it just means the magicians have been creeping ahead of the street sams.

My chargen rules are here if you're interested. I didn't use the Street Scum rules because 1) I didn't see them and 2) I didn't see them. If I had to go back and redo the chargen rules, I'd probably use Street Scum instead of Street Level. Good luck with your game. Let me know how it goes and what works for your group and what doesn't. I'm always tinkering.
kzt
QUOTE (Drace @ Mar 2 2014, 11:22 PM) *
Plus factor in the "geek the Mage first" rule of the streets. If there is a heavily cybered thug with an assault rifle taking down people left right and center, he still won't be seen by the enemy as the same threat as the guy who is having fire shoot from his fingers and generally being all magelike.

Luckily magic is pretty much invisible in SR. People just collapse.
SpellBinder
Except when fire shoots out from someone's bare hand wink.gif
RHat
QUOTE (kzt @ Mar 4 2014, 05:47 PM) *
Luckily magic is pretty much invisible in SR. People just collapse.


Noticing Magic rules, folks - they exist for a reason.
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (RHat @ Mar 4 2014, 06:27 PM) *
Noticing Magic rules, folks - they exist for a reason.


Yep...
The less one understands about magic, the more powerful it seems. Conversely, the more one understands about magic, the less powerful it seems.
garner_adam
QUOTE (RHat @ Mar 4 2014, 05:27 PM) *
Noticing Magic rules, folks - they exist for a reason.


Yeah I had some very shocked players a few sessions back when I had people roll to perceive magic. Realistically for a lot of spells any thing of force 4 or up has a strong chance of being detected.
SpellBinder
SR5's not too bad on the perception mechanic for magic, better than SR4's flat 6 - Force threshold. Personally I like the SR4a house rule another poster here had, IIRC it was Caster's Magic - Spell's Force for the threshold.

And I'd expect that when the magic splat book is published we'll get to see the geasa negative qualities again. Should be nearly impossible to notice a spell when someone is waving a [non-magical] wand and yells out stuptify! before zotting someone with any spell.
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