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I've been playing SR since the beginning and running it for a few years off and on, and only just the other game sessions did a couple of questions come to me.
1. Contacts. Characters are supposed to use their contacts for, among other things, information collection, right? Got a question about the computer system at the Aztech Tac facility? Call your decker contact. What if the character in question is a decker? How do you determine what he would know? In many adventures, character can attempt to ask any street type contact for info, say about an enemy street sam. What would the party street sams know about the guy, and which skill would you use to determine this? I've seen some where it says anyone who's been running in Seattle for x years will have heard of the target, but how much of the available information do they know?

2. Spirits. I was reading up on foci for Bottled Demon, and under Power Focus, it says as well as for determing the maximum spirit force that can be summoned. So I reread about spirits, and I didn't see anything about a maximum force. I always figured that you could shoot for whatever Force spirit you wanted, you just had to take into account the drain and Charisma and such. Is this incorrect?

3. Skillsofts. I basically understand why you need skillwires to run softs like Pistols 5, Athletics 3, etc, but it doesn't make sense to me that you'd need wires to run Computer 4, or Winged Aircraft B/R 5. Certain active skills that require wires seem to me like they should be perfectly usable without wires, so why do you need the wires?

4. Power Levels between Editions. I've seen comments in threads about converting older adventures to 3rd edition that indicate the 3rd ed characters are more powerful than 1/2 editions. How much more powerful? I assume someone has rebuilt older NPCs and such under 3rd rules, so how do they stack up to normal 3rd characters?

I think that's it for now. Thanks.
1. Have you ever read about Milgrams Small World hypothesis? The idea goes, everyone is no more than 6 people away from another person. Meaning, if you go from friend to friend, eventually you'll get to anyone in the world. You should think of contacts as simply being connections to the rest of the world. You have not personally heard of someone, but your contact has. I've played under GMs who would from time to time have us get asked by our contacts for information. An NPC asked the contact to find out something, so the contact asked us. If we chose, we could tell them the right answer or wrong answer. Sometimes it was totally meaningless, other times the fact that someone was asking around about something represented an important plot point.

I'm just babbling, hopefully you kind of grasped my point.

2. It's very easy to miss. Pg 188 BBB, left column, last sentence of the first paragraph. Max is twice your force.

3. Off-the-cuff responce: SKillwires are also wired into your brain. Think of the VCR - It's wired into your brain just like a datajack already is. It goes much deeper and is targetted to certain parts of your brain. Skillwires are also in different parts of your brain. Higher-rated skillwires are hooked up to more and more of your brain, which is why the formula for Essence they take up is based on the rating of the wires.

4. There's a couple of factors, I'm not familiar with the earlier editions. One example is that I believe characters have more essence to play with in 3rd.
Not to be unnecessarily nitpicky, but the six degrees of separation theory mostly urban myth and bad science. Not that contacts are useless, of course. As for whether or not you know something, roll knowledge or simple GM fiat, depending on which is most appropriate. Same for knowing people, though as that is primarily a roleplaying issue and not suited for mechanics, this falls into GM fiat much more exclusively.

As for skillsofts, I'm not entirely sure what your question is. Are you saying that Computer or Winged Aircraft B/R are not available to anyone without skillwires?
1. Base their knowledge of things on their skills. If they have a knowledge skill about something, roll that skill. Or default and roll the attribute.

2. answered

3. Forget about how you think a skill works. It is a game mechanic. What is the difference between how your hands work to use a pistol and how they work to repair an airplane.

4. They are nuts. Yes, third edition got some pretty useless extra skill points for knowledges. Most people didn't take them in 1st and 2nd edition.

The problem is combat skills. There used to be only one skill to cover all edged weapons. There was one skill for pistols through assault rifles. You had to specialize in Etiquette, but big deal, you could default if you wanted.

If anything, NPCs from earlier editions are more powerful.
1) How do you know if the PC knows about the azzie host? Does he have a skill in Seattle Matrix Topography or Aztech Host Structure or somehting similar? If not then he doesn;t know. That's what knowledge skills are for. Also, just because he has a decker contact doesn't automatically mean the decker contact will know, it's just a lot more likely that the decker would know instead of, say, a bartender.

2) Answered correctly previously.

3) Agree with tisoz.

4) I don't believe that's necessarily correct, except that more magical techniques and technology are available as it is later in the timeline.
QUOTE (tisoz)
1. Base their knowledge of things on their skills. If they have a knowledge skill about something, roll that skill. Or default and roll the attribute.

...Except with +4 to the TN. cyber.gif

Can't forget that, don'cha know. biggrin.gif
Cool. Yes, it is right there on 188. Don't know how I missed that. I guess I can buy the don't think about it; it's a game mechanic idea, it just bugs me a little bit. I can work with skills and defaults for info. I often forget about defaulting when it doesn't involve more active skill use. Thanks.
On the issue of deckers, they might not know but they can almost always find out. That's what searches are for wink.gif
Misfit Toy
QUOTE (TinkerGnome)
On the issue of deckers, they might not know but they can almost always find out. That's what searches are for wink.gif

Actually I usually use Information Brokers in that rold, not Deckers. Deckers have many specializations and interests, nad gathering information doesn't have to be one of them, but hey, YMMV. smile.gif
Well, any decker who wants to can run a search operation. It's slow and it can cost a fair bit of cash, but it works.

If you need to know right then, you'll need to talk to someone who actually knows. If you don't mind half of the world knowing you're asking, you could always just post your question on Shadowlands. You'll get a dozen answers in just a few minutes. One of them might even be right.
Even contacts take time to find out things they don't immediately know. If you GM wants you to sit on your thumbs for a day, guess where you are proverbially sitting for the next 24.
About the chance of the team sam knowing an NPC sam: etiquette role. Ditto for mercs, mages, etc. Technically, depending on how small the Shadow community is in your game, any runner could have heard of another runner. So, etiquette plus or minus TN mods seems fair.

Or a knowledge skill (Seattle Runners, or some such)
I'm surprised no one jumped all over me for

4. Magic. Magic was quite a bit more powerful in previous editions.

Initiate and you got every metamagic at once.

Anchoring was worthwhile, now it's pretty much useless IMO. Someone may disagree, but in my previous games, people used it often. Now they never bother to learn it.

Spell locks you could turn on and off without having to recast ( and re-resist drain ), and it was one size fit all.

You needed to learn the spell for every damage level you wanted to toss it at.

I think it used to be easier to enchant. I haven't went through the exact changes, but now people are outsourcing their enchanting needs.

I'm sure there are more.
Hey, at least someone can't fireball your ass through your crappy rating 1 spell lock anymore.

The number of spells needed went down, as you can choose damage level for combat spells and such.
QUOTE (Bigity)
Hey, at least someone can't fireball your ass through your crappy rating 1 spell lock anymore.

True, but for 12 karma you could initiate and mask its presence, shield it, etc.. IMO it was more fun attacking through a focus and worrying about it happening to you than having wards every step of the way. Not to say you couldn't do both, but I hardly ever saw wards in previous editions compared to how you can't turn around without running into one now.

The number of spells needed went down, as you can choose damage level for combat spells and such.

I already mentioned this. Previously, you got it at the damage level you usually used. Few people I know got the same spell at various levels.

Which reminds me, spells usually weren't limited to force number of successes. So you got a Heal or Treat spell at F5 and could heal 10 boxes of damage.

Also, since you rolled ForceD6 to cast a spell, you really only needed a Sorcery skill of ONE.
True smile.gif

At least back then armor ratings were automatic successes biggrin.gif
Only in first edition.
Another question:
I know in older editions, when fighting spirits, Willpower was used for the combat, but I can't find a reference to this in 3rd. It seems, from reading, that when fighting spirits now, you use normal combat rules, instead of force of will or whatever the reasoning was. Is this correct?
Not entirely, you can do either. You can use roll willpower with damage based on cha instead of str, or you can use normal combat. If you use Willpower the spirit gets no armor. If you use normal combat the spirit gets hardened armor equal to twice it's force.
The force of will stuff is still in 3e somewhere. You roll willpower to hit and charisma is your damage rating. Can't point you to a reference right now, I'm afraid. I'm sure someone will, though.
How fleshed out do people do the Friend-of-friend stuff?

Is it done on the fly or do the contacts get generated in advance to a couple of levels?

Be quite amusing for player A to ask contact B a question. B then asks FOF C, who asks FOF D who happens to be the fixer contact of player E who gets asked the question...
Zeel De Mort
p188, second column, first paragraph.

If you're a total munchkin, pick up a two meter long object before you do it as the reach from it still counts!
Herald of Verjigorm
2 meter? No, go straight for the eleven foot pole, reach is between 3 and 4 (argue with the GM about it).
Heck, just be a troll and use an extendable ladder. nyahnyah.gif grinbig.gif
QUOTE (Zeel De Mort)
p188, second column, first paragraph.

And there it is. Thanks. I swear, my reading skills seem to be declinging rapidly. I keep reading sections, and I'm pretty sure that I'm simply not seeing some sentences. Wonder if I need glasses?
In a willcontest with a spirit, does the retaliate with strength or charisma if it wins?? Do you get any protection from armor if you are the one to be hit?
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