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Titan
There was some discussion in another thread about the crazy prices of some gear in SR5.

I figured I would start the thread where ideas could be bounced around to try and develop more "sane" prices.
Bear in mind: A lot of items have wonky prices (I am looking right at Rigger 5.0, here), actually deciding on the "right price" for every item is beyond the scope of this thread. This is more to spitball ideas to create the best plan of attack, so to speak.

I get the impression that several posters here would like to see gear prices in the range of 100K to 150K nuyen.gif for a "top shelf" starting character package (this is barring the Restrictive Gear quality).
I admit, I am guessing at this value, but I would like to see that - so it seems like a reasonable place to start. It can always be adjusted later.

This would include all archetype "required" gear, plus the following, if not a part of the archetype gear:
- a respectable fake SIN plus necessary licenses for everyday living
- a respectable commlink
- a quality vehicle (not top shelf, but not a Scoot either)
- respectable lifestyle rentals - if the player desires.

Here is the first hurdle:
A character can have North of half a million nuyen.gif at character creation. PLUS a character can not have more than 5000 nuyen.gif unspent at the end of character creation.

I am betting that the starting values need to be adjusted. Otherwise, there can be a lot of property purchased. If not, characters can have more than 350K nuyen.gif to spend on "extras" after their starting package.

So what should the values be? Bear in mind, this will require going through all gear prices to ensure none of them are rediculous compared to the new starting nuyen ranges.




I will post the second hurdle after a few days.
JanessaVR
You could consider some "starting packages" described in general terms. For 10k, you get a package of basics of A, B, C, and up to 100k you get a package of high-end X, Y, Z. The player pays their cash, then gets to fill in the specifics of those items (subject to GM approval).
Titan
I'm not certain I grasp what you are suggesting.

Are you saying that instead of getting a sum of nuyen to spend when assigning Resource priority, you instead get a pick of assigned packages? Kind of like PACKS?

If not, you can ignore the rest of this post, it won't be fitting.





As a concept, I like it. It completely bypasses the issue of gear cost for starting characters. For example, a Decker could select a priority A package that includes a Sony CIY-720 and a Renraku Tsurugi, no matter what they end up costing. Unfortunately, I see a lot of issues with it. The three most prominent ones are:

That is a lot of work. Trying to create even a sampling of reasonable packages for starting characters can take months. There are melee Sammies, ranged Sammies, heavy weapons Sammies, cyberware focused Sammies, bioware focused Sammies, etc.. And that is just for one archetype.

It doesn't really fix anything. The gear would still have to be combed through to make more "sane" prices, or there will continue to be people bitching about them.

I'm not sure it would be even moderately accepted in the community. Shadowrun has a following of number crunchers and value tweakers. Right or wrong, that is the state of it. Taking away that balancing act probably won't go very far.


I think it would be far wiser to spend our energy on tweaking the table. Maybe there will be another way to clear this hurdle.
Glyph
SR3 was balanced, price-wise. You could start out with a lot of money, but there were also expensive things to purchase with it. SR4 was also balanced, lowering starting money but also lowering prices. SR5 tries to hew to a middle road between the other two, but augmented characters tend to get a raw deal.


One thing I would suggest, if you are trying to simplify things, would be to offer "runner lifestyle" packages where everyday transportation, matrix access, and fake ID's/licenses would all be folded into a (higher) lifestyle cost. Lifestyle abstracts a lot of things already.
KCKitsune
Titan, the biggest problem I have with pricing is in SR5 you can have cyberware DESTROYED with a bad roll of the dice. Cut the price of cyberware** down by 1/3 or 40% and make it so that "Bricking" is a temporary thing. Like if some hacker got to your eyes, you still have 20/20 vision, but every other mod is knocked offline.

As for cyberdeck prices, I would also cut their price by 1/3, but allow a character to make his own deck. The drawback is that the GM would be making the creation rolls. If the player glitches, then have it work until it is dramatic for it to fail. If it critically glitches, then the deck is unusable and the decker has to start again.

** == I wouldn't change the cost of Bioware. It is suppose to be expensive as frak.
Titan
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 18 2017, 08:31 PM) *
SR3 was balanced, price-wise. You could start out with a lot of money, but there were also expensive things to purchase with it. SR4 was also balanced, lowering starting money but also lowering prices. SR5 tries to hew to a middle road between the other two, but augmented characters tend to get a raw deal.


I think that is a good summary of the different systems. I personally came from 3e. Well, technically it was the tail end of 2e, but since my group never actually played any 2e, I just say 3e.

So I wasn't too shocked when I saw the prices. Hell, the Cyberware had some good discounts on them!

But my problem is when I started looking into the Matrix rules. I realized just how grossly overvalued Cyberdecks are for what they do. Cyberdecks only claim to fame is that they can run cyberprograms, and have all four Matrix Attributes. Cyberprograms are not required to do almost all things (the programs only give a +2 Dice Pool modifier), and all four attributes aren't required either. Nearly everything can be done with three.
((That doesn't even count the fact they tend to have reduced Device Rating for their "level."))

But I also know the prices of cyberdecks can't just be changed, and that is that. It is much more complex. One of the complaints of 4e was just how easy it was for any character to jump in as the Decker. That got combined with the perennial complaint of "Deckers are useless in combat." And that is a part of why we got the high priced decks again, as well as the crappy Wireless Bonuses of 5e everyone loves so much. It was an attempt to make Deckers required, and distinct.

5e is craptastic in many ways. But when it comes down to it, I don't have the time (and quite likely the skill) to write a whole new system that is better.

But that doesn't mean I don't want to try and forge some tweaks that make it better for those who share the same ideals as I do.
Glyph
In Shadowrun, every character can have combat skills without stepping on the street samurai's toes. Ideally, hacking should be the same way. Unfortunately, they made it a pool with only the deep end; you seem to need to be a dedicated decker, and a min-maxed one at that, to succeed at anything. Despite the fluff of script kiddies, matrix gangs, and deckers who supposedly cobble together their own decks and write their own programs...

They need more graduated threats and challenges, for matrix punks, for people with the skills but not the gear and/or hardware, and finally, for actual pro deckers. If I had to redesign deckers from the ground up, I would make their abilities depend more on augmentations than gear - maybe something like a simrig on steroids to actually go full VR, and expensive headware to let them interact with computer code. Decks should not be illegal, cutting edge, super-expensive things that you buy off the shelf, but, as in the fluff above, constructed by the decker (some of the components could be expensive, but not exorbitantly so). And they should be both highly personalized and likely to be booby-trapped, so that enemy decks don't become something you fence for lots of loot. Commlinks should be capable of limited hacking, but only AR, not VR.

I would make wireless nearly as ubiquitous but easier to opt out of, and have closed-off, unhackable PANs so people can go back to having fun with things like nanotatts and electrochromatic clothing without needing to be connected to the matrix. Instead of bricking, I would lower the availability of tacnets, make them even more useful, and drop the cost by a couple of decimal places - then make disrupting or subverting enemy tacnets a big thing. I would also make remote (drone) rigging a decker function rather than a rigging one.
Titan
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 20 2017, 01:44 AM) *
I would also make remote (drone) rigging a decker function rather than a rigging one.


Careful now, them's fightin' words! wink.gif nyahnyah.gif

I will fully admit I have a personal bias for riggers. However, I think the following issues I have are mostly objective.

If you take drones away from Riggers, what will they really have left? Maybe the games you are a part of are completely different than mine, but how often does vehicle piloting really come up? And of those times, how many really needed a Rigger?

Deckers can already be Drone Bunnies. Although their game mechanics to do so are much clumsier. Even if we ignore the relative ease a Decker could get a Control Rig (their price and essence costs are substantially lower than in 3e), a Decker can still run multiple drones simultaneously as well as a Rigger. The only thing they miss out on is the ability to Jump Into one drone at at a time. A Decker could run an RCC. One of the AutoSofts could be Group (Rigger 5.0 pg.127) if the GM won't allow a Decker to get the full benefits of an RCC for some reason. Control Device (Core pg 238) is a Matrix Action that is used to pilot a vehicle / drone remotely, and can even be handed off to an Agent if need be. No, Deckers are already in the process of mugging Riggers to take their stuff. I don't think they need any help there.
KCKitsune
I would make it so that Riggers could actually protect their own drek rather than having a Decker babysitting them. That was one thing 4th edition did well and that's a Rigger was nothing more than a Decker who specialized in vehicles.

I also agree with Glyph that Deckers should be mostly cybernetics rather than "Oh look at me! I is got a keyboard! Watch me l33t skills!". Hell, the "Deck" should be nothing more than a buffer**, and that real Deckers don't use them.


** == If a decker uses a physical keyboard, they take stun damage, but it slows them down. If they go in "naked" the get an Extra d6 initiative and a +2 to initiative, but they can take physical damage.
Mantis
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 19 2017, 11:44 PM) *
In Shadowrun, every character can have combat skills without stepping on the street samurai's toes. Ideally, hacking should be the same way. Unfortunately, they made it a pool with only the deep end; you seem to need to be a dedicated decker, and a min-maxed one at that, to succeed at anything. Despite the fluff of script kiddies, matrix gangs, and deckers who supposedly cobble together their own decks and write their own programs...

They need more graduated threats and challenges, for matrix punks, for people with the skills but not the gear and/or hardware, and finally, for actual pro deckers. If I had to redesign deckers from the ground up, I would make their abilities depend more on augmentations than gear - maybe something like a simrig on steroids to actually go full VR, and expensive headware to let them interact with computer code. Decks should not be illegal, cutting edge, super-expensive things that you buy off the shelf, but, as in the fluff above, constructed by the decker (some of the components could be expensive, but not exorbitantly so). And they should be both highly personalized and likely to be booby-trapped, so that enemy decks don't become something you fence for lots of loot. Commlinks should be capable of limited hacking, but only AR, not VR.

I would make wireless nearly as ubiquitous but easier to opt out of, and have closed-off, unhackable PANs so people can go back to having fun with things like nanotatts and electrochromatic clothing without needing to be connected to the matrix. Instead of bricking, I would lower the availability of tacnets, make them even more useful, and drop the cost by a couple of decimal places - then make disrupting or subverting enemy tacnets a big thing. I would also make remote (drone) rigging a decker function rather than a rigging one.


I agree with most of this. I never got why deckers suddenly had to be special snowflakes. I mean what exactly does every other computer user in SR land do? They can't code because there aren't rules for it. They can't build hardware because there aren't rules for it. And yet, for some reason, megacorps are building these super expensive decks that serve one purpose, hacking into systems. The criminal hacking community can not be large enough to support the development and production of these devices. So who else buys them? Are they supposed to be purchased by pentesters?
This is the main failure of the SR economy I think. No one ran these prices past the common joe. A company isn't going to build all this stuff that can only be used by a criminal segment of society. Their main focus is going to be the legal consumer. The fact a piece of gear can be repurposed for criminal activity is a side effect that runners take advantage of, not the main focus of a given thing.
Take real world lock picks as an example. They are for locksmiths to open doors for which the legal owner of said door has lost the key. The fact a criminal can come along and also use said tools to open the door is a side effect, not the main purpose.
So most gear in SR should be looked at in the same light. Who is buying wired reflexes outside of the runner community? Who buys all these cyberdecks and drones? Is there enough of a market to justify the R&D costs and the production costs? Would this stuff ever have seen the light of day at these prices? The gear can't be approached from a runner-centric point of view. No company is going to make stuff for criminals first and then hope the market will expand to legal purchasers. Just not the way things work.
Titan
QUOTE (Mantis @ Aug 21 2017, 10:39 AM) *
Who is buying wired reflexes outside of the runner community? Who buys all these cyberdecks and drones? Is there enough of a market to justify the R&D costs and the production costs? Would this stuff ever have seen the light of day at these prices? The gear can't be approached from a runner-centric point of view. No company is going to make stuff for criminals first and then hope the market will expand to legal purchasers. Just not the way things work.


All gear is "purchased" by the Corps first. They design and develop for their own security forces.

No matter the propaganda spread about a safe and hacker free world, the Corps know better. And, as you said, it then filters out to the Runner community.

Just because there are no (real) rules for Software and Hardware building, doesn't mean it just doesn't happen in the world. Just that there is no real simple way to incorporate it for Player Characters that doesn't get people scratching their heads and wondering why most runners don't just stop running and do something more legit (and safer) for more money? (For example, building better decks.)

Every RPG suffers this to some degree or another. How to balance crafting and gear grinding to keep the game going.
Sengir
QUOTE (Mantis @ Aug 21 2017, 06:39 PM) *
And yet, for some reason, megacorps are building these super expensive decks that serve one purpose, hacking into systems. The criminal hacking community can not be large enough to support the development and production of these devices. So who else buys them? Are they supposed to be purchased by pentesters?

Don't forget that operating a garage door requires a deck. Because the matrix suffers even more from the "never thought about Joe Average" syndrome biggrin.gif

For starting cash and associated prices, I'd take 4th as a starting point. Because one of the design goals in 4th was to get rid of the One Million Dollar Samurai, whereas 5th put on the grognard nostalgia glasses and wanted to get back to that problem.
KCKitsune
I know that I might be burned at the stake for this, but I LIKED SR4 had it that everyone could be a hacker. The Decker would be the person with the most skill. Just like any character could be the Face, any character could hack... some just had the augmentation to a better job with it.

I mean honestly, back when SR first came out computers were new and mysterious. Programmers were almost seen as magic as Wizards. Fast forward to today and EVERYONE knows about computers. Sure most people can't program them worth a damn, but everyone can work a computer.

This ties in to Shadowrun this way: I thought every 'Runner should have some hacking skills. If nothing else, a Matrix run can have every character in it. Rather than being a "The hacker is going on his dungeon crawl, let's go get pizza." drag on the game, a Matrix run could an integral part of the SR experience.
Sendaz
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Aug 22 2017, 12:02 AM) *
I know that I might be burned at the stake for this, but I LIKED SR4 had it that everyone could be a hacker. The Decker would be the person with the most skill. Just like any character could be the Face, any character could hack... some just had the augmentation to a better job with it.


It is not so strange, anymore than many mages learned how to use a gun because bullets have no drain, so you save the mojo for the important stuff.

But I think part of the prob was that a mage wielding a gun would be hard pressed to match a full on sammie in a gunfight, unless he was tapping his mana to boost himself.

Meanwhile the differences between a full on hacker and a runner with a decent commlink wasn't really enough at times. Indeed, a high level commlink basically WAS the hacker/defender with the metahuman being it's caddy at times.

So I wouldn't mind bringing back of everyone can hack a bit, but one has to decide does everyone hack equally (because its more down to the equipment than the person behind it) or can someone who focuses on decking do significantly better through a combination of gear and skills.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 22 2017, 03:07 AM) *
So I wouldn't mind bringing back of everyone can hack a bit, but one has to decide does everyone hack equally (because its more down to the equipment than the person behind it) or can someone who focuses on decking do significantly better through a combination of gear and skills.


I would make it that the REAL hackers are the ones who get some serious cyberware to be awesome in the Matrix and the rest of the gang are decent, but are not "l33t"
Tymeaus Jalynsfein
QUOTE (Sendaz @ Aug 22 2017, 01:07 AM) *
It is not so strange, anymore than many mages learned how to use a gun because bullets have no drain, so you save the mojo for the important stuff.

But I think part of the prob was that a mage wielding a gun would be hard pressed to match a full on sammie in a gunfight, unless he was tapping his mana to boost himself.


And yet, WHY was the mage with a gun trying to match a full on Street Sam in a gunfight? Mages with guns are backups, not main line operatives. They are using guns because they cannot or do not want to use their mojo for the moment. Forcing a Mage to always use the mojo is just stupid. No sane shadowrunning mage will be so one dimensional. He WILL need an option for when the drain is just to high, or not worth the hit.

SR4's real problem via hacking was that they divorced the roll from stat+skill like the rest of the game used. Had they stuck with Stat+Skill, it would have stopped the script kidies with 1 Logic and high skill. They never would have been a major threat (Good for low end things, buit never really capable of filling the Hacker Role). When the optional rules were introduced, it stopped a lot of nonsense, in my opinion (Stat+Skill, Limit Program) - The other Optional Rule was (Skill+Program, Limit Stat). I preferred the first... High End Comlinks for uber hacking could run you as much as 80k+ (I think mine was just over 100k, IIRC), not something the typical script kiddie/non-dedicated hacker could afford. The shift to Decks costing 10x as much was too much of an over correction in the other direction. That said, I think they did do a few things right for the Matrix in SR5... Cleaned up a lot of things in my opinion. The Deck costs, sadly, were not one of those things. frown.gif
Titan
QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 21 2017, 03:09 PM) *
Don't forget that operating a garage door requires a deck.


It does? Operating a garage door requires Attack or Sleaze? A commlink will work just fine for that task.

QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 21 2017, 03:09 PM) *
For starting cash and associated prices, I'd take 4th as a starting point.


Does SR4 have a Priority system to work off of? Or would someone have to extrapolate what a character might get with Build Points?

I was percolating on the following:

Priority A - 120K nuyen.gif
Priority B - 60K nuyen.gif
Priority C - 30K nuyen.gif
Priority D - 15K nuyen.gif
Priority E - 5K nuyen.gif

It has symmetry (not the best criteria, I admit), and with standard Karma expenditures a character can get up to 140K nuyen.gif. With Born Rich, or In Debt, they can get to 200K nuyen.gif or 195K nuyen.gif - not that those are particularly wise, just possible.

It does mean that almost all gear that has a Device rating of 6 or lower, and an Availability of 12 or lower needs to cost much less than about 100K nuyen.gif... And many with a Rating of 7 to 12, and an Availability of 12 to 24 need to cost less than about 100K nuyen.gif as well, or those limits in Character Generation lose all meaning.
Sendaz
QUOTE (Tymeaus Jalynsfein @ Aug 22 2017, 09:59 AM) *
And yet, WHY was the mage with a gun trying to match a full on Street Sam in a gunfight? Mages with guns are backups, not main line operatives.

The answer is he wasn't. You picked up on the one line without looking at the overall. nyahnyah.gif

I was pointing out that a Mage with a gun couldn't match the Sammie in gunbunnying unless they tapped mana for it.
Whereas someone with a high end commlink could mount a decent digital defense versus the hacker in his own virtual backyard without applying any outside boosts.
Glyph
While augmented characters are limited by character creation, excessive prices really affect the game when character advancement comes into play. Adepts and mages can spend Karma to initiate and raise their Magic, while augmented characters will have a much more difficult time adding to, or upgrading, their augmentations.

SR5 did a few things right. Used cyberware is its own, separate grade now, and the grade of cyberware affects availability as well as cost and Essence loss. The price gulf between grades is much narrower now, too. But it is still too difficult for a decent street samurai to improve. Between the high initial prices for many augmentations, the low suggested payouts that SR5 offers, and fluff that makes cyberware past street scum grade out of reach for most non-corporate types - well, upgrading your 'ware can be a problem.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 22 2017, 10:19 PM) *
While augmented characters are limited by character creation, excessive prices really affect the game when character advancement comes into play. Adepts and mages can spend Karma to initiate and raise their Magic, while augmented characters will have a much more difficult time adding to, or upgrading, their augmentations.

SR5 did a few things right. Used cyberware is its own, separate grade now, and the grade of cyberware affects availability as well as cost and Essence loss. The price gulf between grades is much narrower now, too. But it is still too difficult for a decent street samurai to improve. Between the high initial prices for many augmentations, the low suggested payouts that SR5 offers, and fluff that makes cyberware past street scum grade out of reach for most non-corporate types - well, upgrading your 'ware can be a problem.


That's because the money rewards are horrible. Honestly the game designers wanted to have GM's paying their people like they were common street thugs and not the highly trained and well equipped mercs** that they are.

This is why there is the discussion about why 'Runners do what they do rather than just steal cars or make Cyberdecks.


** == I know not every 'Runner is a merc merc, but when you become a 'Runner you're a mercenary.
Sengir
QUOTE (Titan @ Aug 22 2017, 04:56 PM) *
It does? Operating a garage door requires Attack or Sleaze? A commlink will work just fine for that task.


Control Device
You perform an action through a device you control (or at least control sufficiently), using your commlink or deck like a remote control or video-game controller.
[...]
If there is no test associated with the action you want the device to perform (such as unlocking a maglock or ejecting a clip from a pistol), you must succeed in an Electronic Warfare + Intuition [Sleaze] v. Intuition + Firewall test to perform the action.



QUOTE
Does SR4 have a Priority system to work off of? Or would someone have to extrapolate what a character might get with Build Points?

There was a priority system in RC. It wasn't popular, because why in Big D's name would anyone use priority, but it did exist:

A 250,000
B 140,000
C 70,000
D 15,000
E 5,000
Titan
QUOTE (Sengir @ Aug 23 2017, 02:54 AM) *
Control Device
You perform an action through a device you control (or at least control sufficiently), using your commlink or deck like a remote control or video-game controller.
[...]
If there is no test associated with the action you want the device to perform (such as unlocking a maglock or ejecting a clip from a pistol), you must succeed in an Electronic Warfare + Intuition [Sleaze] v. Intuition + Firewall test to perform the action.



That is... Overthinking the situation completely.

Change Device Mode
A character may use a Simple Action to activate, deactivate, or change the mode on any device with a simple switch, a virtual button, or a command from a commlink or other control device through either a wired or wireless link.


Mode: Open -> Close
or
Close -> Open.

Of course, MARKs are likely to be required. Either through Hacking, Ownership, or Invitation. But why require a Test, when a system already exists to cover the situation?
Iduno
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 22 2017, 09:19 PM) *
While augmented characters are limited by character creation, excessive prices really affect the game when character advancement comes into play. Adepts and mages can spend Karma to initiate and raise their Magic, while augmented characters will have a much more difficult time adding to, or upgrading, their augmentations.

SR5 did a few things right. Used cyberware is its own, separate grade now, and the grade of cyberware affects availability as well as cost and Essence loss. The price gulf between grades is much narrower now, too. But it is still too difficult for a decent street samurai to improve. Between the high initial prices for many augmentations, the low suggested payouts that SR5 offers, and fluff that makes cyberware past street scum grade out of reach for most non-corporate types - well, upgrading your 'ware can be a problem.


Part of the problem is lifestyle, bullets, bribes, slightly better guns, etc. take nuyen as well, so it's tougher to save for good cyber, especially if you aren't playing as a murderhobo. The more money you have, the more you spend.

Part of the problem is the rate at which increases happen. Costs for initiating are (in SR4, don't have SR5 in front of me) 13, 16, 19, etc. karma, and come with a metamagic. It's a small linear increase. Costs for cyber are multipliers (1x, 2x, 5x, 10x), and that's just to use less essence so you have more space to upgrade later. Increasing magic is higher, but still increases linearly (30 karma for magic 6, 35 for 7, etc.). Buying better ware to fill in the essence hole is tricky to price out, because it depends on the size of the essence hole you made.

Between those two, you need to have a quickly scaling increase in nuyen payments just to break even. And some sort of in-game justification for why payouts are so huge and nobody can afford to retire (except the mage).
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Iduno @ Aug 23 2017, 04:49 PM) *
Part of the problem is lifestyle, bullets, bribes, slightly better guns, etc. take nuyen as well, so it's tougher to save for good cyber, especially if you aren't playing as a murderhobo. The more money you have, the more you spend.

Part of the problem is the rate at which increases happen. Costs for initiating are (in SR4, don't have SR5 in front of me) 13, 16, 19, etc. karma, and come with a metamagic. It's a small linear increase. Costs for cyber are multipliers (1x, 2x, 5x, 10x), and that's just to use less essence so you have more space to upgrade later. Increasing magic is higher, but still increases linearly (30 karma for magic 6, 35 for 7, etc.). Buying better ware to fill in the essence hole is tricky to price out, because it depends on the size of the essence hole you made.

Between those two, you need to have a quickly scaling increase in nuyen payments just to break even. And some sort of in-game justification for why payouts are so huge and nobody can afford to retire (except the mage).


Partially agree with you about lifestyle. You can take a Middle Lifestyle and get the goodies from the higher lifestyles (such as good food) with nary a sweat. In fact it would be more likely that a 'Runner would be set up to stay at middle lifestyle. It's high enough that you're pretty safe and comfortable, but low enough that you're not on anyone's radar.

As for money... it's, as I said above, because the Game Devs have GMs paying 'Runners like they're street punks rather than the highly trained mercs that they are. I mean let's face it. A Street Sam with Wired Reflexes 2 (or that matter 3) is a very much top tier operator.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (KCKitsune @ Aug 23 2017, 07:03 PM) *
Partially agree with you about lifestyle. You can take a Middle Lifestyle and get the goodies from the higher lifestyles (such as good food) with nary a sweat. In fact it would be more likely that a 'Runner would be set up to stay at middle lifestyle. It's high enough that you're pretty safe and comfortable, but low enough that you're not on anyone's radar.

This is also my usual trick in setting up a lifestyle - Middle on the outside, High on the inside, and with the Quiet Neighborhood lifestyle quality. Done right, you're set up nice and cozy, but no one thinks anything of it, unlike if you go for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" approach.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (JanessaVR @ Aug 24 2017, 12:47 AM) *
This is also my usual trick in setting up a lifestyle - Middle on the outside, High on the inside, and with the Quiet Neighborhood lifestyle quality. Done right, you're set up nice and cozy, but no one thinks anything of it, unlike if you go for "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" approach.

With SR5, you can take "Hard to Find", "Extra Secure", and "Special Work Area" and still come under the price for basic High Lifestyle. Even if you say it takes an extra 1000 nuyen.gif more for real food, then you're still under the price tag for High, and you're much more secure.
Titan
QUOTE (Titan @ Aug 17 2017, 10:32 PM) *
I will post the second hurdle after a few days.


Sorry, I got distracted with local issues.

Second Hurdle:
We have to be careful to not trivialize any Archetype with price reductions.

This is a bit more complex than the last hurdle, because what defines an Archetype might vary from person to person.

But in short, to be really good at one Archetype should pretty much exclude you from being good at another Archetype.

For the most part, Archetypes are pretty much mutually exclusive. Example: If you are going to be really good Mage, you aren't going to be a good Street Sam (via tech). If you are going to augment yourself out for a Street Sam, you probably won't have room for a Control Rig. Stuff like that.

If an Archetype gets reduced to a piece of tech, and that tech is cheap enough, it makes it far too easy for anyone else to pick up that Archetype.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Titan @ Aug 25 2017, 09:00 PM) *
Sorry, I got distracted with local issues.

Second Hurdle:
We have to be careful to not trivialize any Archetype with price reductions.

... SNIP for brevity...

If an Archetype gets reduced to a piece of tech, and that tech is cheap enough, it makes it far too easy for anyone else to pick up that Archetype.


Like I said before Titan, when Shadowrun was first published, computers were wonderful, mysterious things that only dedicated tech heads could understand. That does NOT apply to today. I would say that to not violate your second hurdle, we'd have to create cybernetics that would only be used by Deckers.

SR4 had three pieces of 'Ware that would be absolutely perfect for this: Encephalon and Simsense Booster, and Math SPU. I know SR3 had Encephalons, but I don't know the rules for them. I also know that SR5 has Math SPUs, but compared to SR4, they're VERY pathetic. I would also get rid of the "Multi-dimensional processor" Deck mod. Make it so that you can only get the initiative boost from cyberware.

If you were to incorporate the SR4 rules and pricing for these three pieces of ware and a datajack as a "Decker Rig", then you would have MINIMUM price of 100,000 nuyen.gif and an Essence cost of 1.5. This would be pricey enough to preclude other Archetypes from wanting to get into the arena, but even if they were to try, then the Decker would have an advantage that those who don't have this 'Ware would not have.

I would also make it that unless you have the "Decker Rig" then the max initiative you can have is INT + 2d6 (except Technomancers). Again, with 'Ware, you're just that much better than anyone who doesn't have that 'Ware.
Glyph
My philosophy is that being great at an archetype should preclude you from being great at another archetype, but that shadowrunners should still have some decent abilities outside of their specialty. The decker should be able to shoot, the street sam should be able to function in social situations, and the mage should be able to interact with modern technology if not actually hack.

Archetypes should not be trivialized, but shadowrunners don't have actual classes. What lets you create "hybrid" characters, as well as still keep archetypes, is breadth of skill. Just as reducing an archetype to one piece of gear cheapens it, reducing an archetype to one or two skills cheapens it. It should take most of your character-creating resources to fully cover an archetype, but you should be able to sacrifice that full coverage if you want to be good at something else, too.

A face, for example, might have a robust set of social skills, augmentations, adept powers, and a rolodex of contacts. But you could take a higher Agility, get a narrower set of social skills in order to have a higher pistols skill, get muscle toner and a reflex recorder instead of tailored pheromones, and get improved reflexes and combat sense instead of cool resolve. So now you have a more combat-capable face. This character won't have dice pools quite as high as the dedicated face's, or be as tough as a dedicated combat adept, but still has the ability to function in two different areas.

While I think going with augmentations rather than decks would protect the decker archetype even more, I think SR5 does do a good job of keeping them as a comparatively exclusive class. There is both a price barrier (for a cyberdeck and cerebral boosters) and a skill barrier (being a decker requires a lot of skills). Furthermore, decking is also an area that is unforgiving of dabblers - if you're going to deck, be good at it or you might as well not even bother.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 26 2017, 12:47 PM) *
My philosophy is that being great at an archetype should preclude you from being great at another archetype, but that shadowrunners should still have some decent abilities outside of their specialty. The decker should be able to shoot, the street sam should be able to function in social situations, and the mage should be able to interact with modern technology if not actually hack.

Archetypes should not be trivialized, but shadowrunners don't have actual classes. What lets you create "hybrid" characters, as well as still keep archetypes, is breadth of skill. Just as reducing an archetype to one piece of gear cheapens it, reducing an archetype to one or two skills cheapens it. It should take most of your character-creating resources to fully cover an archetype, but you should be able to sacrifice that full coverage if you want to be good at something else, too.

A face, for example, might have a robust set of social skills, augmentations, adept powers, and a rolodex of contacts. But you could take a higher Agility, get a narrower set of social skills in order to have a higher pistols skill, get muscle toner and a reflex recorder instead of tailored pheromones, and get improved reflexes and combat sense instead of cool resolve. So now you have a more combat-capable face. This character won't have dice pools quite as high as the dedicated face's, or be as tough as a dedicated combat adept, but still has the ability to function in two different areas.

While I think going with augmentations rather than decks would protect the decker archetype even more, I think SR5 does do a good job of keeping them as a comparatively exclusive class. There is both a price barrier (for a cyberdeck and cerebral boosters) and a skill barrier (being a decker requires a lot of skills). Furthermore, decking is also an area that is unforgiving of dabblers - if you're going to deck, be good at it or you might as well not even bother.


The flip side of this problem is that if a deck gets broken, then the Decker is frakked. The Face you described above can lose contacts, but he can always make more... and quite easy if he's good enough. A Street Sam can have his gun destroyed, but can get a new gun no sweat. A Mage can lose his power focus, but can get a new one without really much sweat (will cost him Karma though), but the thing is, he's still capable of being a Mage.

When a decker gets his deck bricked, there is NO honest (meaning without GM fiat) way of the decker really getting back into the game. A mid tier deck costs about 200K. Sure you can get cheaper, but let's be honest, the cheaper decks are just about worthless.

For 200K, a Street Sam can replace his wired Reflexes for a Synaptic Booster level 2, AND still have 10K to buy a new gun. That's nothing to sneeze at.
Glyph
Yeah, that's why I prefer the augmentation route. A decker without a deck is screwed, unless the team loots a deck from an enemy decker. Then it becomes a metagaming question of why a group of independent contractors would give a 200K piece of gear to one team member rather than fence it and split the loot. I get the intentions behind making decks so expensive, but think the same game functions (game balance and decker role protection) could have been done a different, better way.
KCKitsune
QUOTE (Glyph @ Aug 28 2017, 12:42 AM) *
Yeah, that's why I prefer the augmentation route. A decker without a deck is screwed, unless the team loots a deck from an enemy decker. Then it becomes a metagaming question of why a group of independent contractors would give a 200K piece of gear to one team member rather than fence it and split the loot. I get the intentions behind making decks so expensive, but think the same game functions (game balance and decker role protection) could have been done a different, better way.


That's why I said about the "Decker Rig". and the max initiative for a person without one. This route is not perfect by any means. Some would just see it as dice pool inflation.

Also, this might be heretical but, maybe the Decker as an Archetype should be retired. Like I said before, when Shadowrun was made a computer was as magical as Gandalf, and twice as cryptic. It took a dedicated computer person to really understand electronics. How many here had to program their parents VCRs? Now these days, everyone can program their own VCRs.
Shinobi Killfist
I kind of wish they had integrated Karma into cyber somehow. Like wired reflexes cost $10,000 and 1 essence and provided +1 reaction with 5 karma it at +1d6 and is fully functioning. 10 more karma and it's another +1 karma and d6 each gear had different karma costs and how that would improve it and some universal ones like reducing karma cost. The idea being its one thing to have some ware it's another to really know how to use it and get the most out of it. Something so everyone was kind of on the same advancement table. Low enough cash costs that people weren't wondering why they didn't retire and karma directly improved your gimmick along with staples like skills and attributes. Not sure if something like that would work in SR6 but it clearly goes beyond the scope of this topic.

Also the system should pay enough to explain why people go on runs instead of petty crime.
JanessaVR
QUOTE (Shinobi Killfist @ Aug 28 2017, 03:32 PM) *
Also the system should pay enough to explain why people go on runs instead of petty crime.

There are certainly several threads here about SedanRun ™, but that's a whole other discussion.
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