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Otaku On Acid
I have two questions.
1) First how much does using the stress rules as they are laid out in M&M slow down the game? I was reading over them and it seemed like a lot of extra stuff to figure out and compare for every damage roll.
2) What proccess do you usually use for character creation? After coming up with a basic idea do you usually work and play with stats and gear, and afterwards flesh out their back story and history, or do you prefer to figure out your characters backstory and then work up from there to figure out appriopate stats and skills?
Shev
1. Most of my runners don't use cyberware. Seeing as I only got M&M a couple of weeks ago (and haven't ran with my college gaming group since due to summer break) I haven't had much of a chance to implement any stress tests. It looks like it could slow down the game at first, but I imagine it can become second nature after a time. If it doesn't, just use the basic ideas and wing the rest.

2. If I'm making a magical character, I use the priority system. For non-magical, I use the point system. I take a basic idea (usually a race and a archetype) and make attributes. After that, I usually do skills, then gear. It's not until I get to contacts that I begin to flesh out the characters backstory.
Chance359
1. No clue

2. I usually start with a concept, this usually entails race and background. Then comes stats and equipment, I try to justify each piece of ware or gear and why he would have it. As far as systems, usually priorites but lately I've been using BECKSv2 alot.
Cursedsoul
1. I have no real clue, I suppose its all in the background of your players. WH40k types probably won't care because you need to roll 34723478326423 times when firing at someone (okay so its more like 3 or 4 but its still more than 1 wink.gif)

2. I abhor the priority system because it just doesn't treat a human right. Of course I like to make ork characters and then get the human looking edge (Dental work anyone?).

I used to use the point system but then I came to the realization that is horrendously out of balance. Two rating 3 skills are NOT THE EQUIVOLENT OF A RATING 6. I mean, the system's convenient and all that, but I don't feel right using it.

I've taken a liking to BeCKS2.0 myself. For the cost of a rating 6 (presuming I meet the attribute requirements) I can instead get Three rating 3's one level 2, and two rating 1.

Hell, 30 karma for rating 6 and 8 karma for rating 3 means I almost get 3 of those suckers.

I really like the contacts and how inexpensive they are. Level 1 is a measly 1 karma, level 2 is worth 5. Level 3 is 25.

Also, the nuyen system is the definite winner in my book because its always like "dammit, I don't want 400k but I can't work with 200k either" with the point system, and I'll end up buying a bunch of stuff I don't necessarily care about. Its not a HUGE deal, but its sufficiently annoying to well, annoy me. smile.gif

As for the second part I always come up with my concept first. I then mentally begin writing the background, thinking about the general things like their quality of life, how their race will play into it, etc, etc. I've only played two of these characters on DS and they're both pretty similar. Nice guy types because that's what I am. I honestly get sick (physically, mentally, and emotionally) if I act like a turd to people who don't deserve it coming from me.

Anyways, after the concept I do the attributes, skills, gear, and then contacts. As I go along I try to give my character a reason to have everything, at least skill-wise. I don't bother explaining my gear as I simply give the GM an "ask me to explain anything you need it for" and then I'll just BS something nice and shiny and perty like. wink.gif

Without a doubt writing up that history is THE most fun. Of course I like writing so its kind of comes naturally that I'd enjoy you know, writing. biggrin.gif

I like to spend the most time on the backstory, go a bit overboard with appearance, and explain my contacts with 1/2 a page minimum. Not strictly enforced mind you, but generally I'll go over that.

My backgrounds also tend to be 15 pages long in a MSworks document. I'm not kidding either. I generally don't finish them in their entirety, but they do get around 90% done.

Oh yes, I use the 20 questions in the SRcompanion to divvie it up into segments and I bold the questions themselves. I could double space it, but handing in a 30 page paper would probably make the GM shit themselves and I don't need to be causing those kinds of problems. grinbig.gif
Cray74
QUOTE (Otaku On Acid)
I have two questions.
1) First how much does using the stress rules as they are laid out in M&M slow down the game? I was reading over them and it seemed like a lot of extra stuff to figure out and compare for every damage roll.

Hmm. I was only referring to them on serious and deadly damage rolls, and only when I recalled that the injured PC had enough implants to risk getting them stressed. I should probably go back and read the fine print. smile.gif

QUOTE
2) What proccess do you usually use for character creation?


Priority system if I'm making humans; I'll glance at the Companion's point-based system for metahumans, but I generally use the priority system.

QUOTE
After coming up with a basic idea do you usually work and play with stats and gear, and afterwards flesh out their back story and history, or do you prefer to figure out your characters backstory and then work up from there to figure out appriopate stats and skills?


Yes.

Sometimes I have a crystal clear character concept & history before I set pencil to paper and select gear and stats accordingly. I tend to do that when I have a clear understanding of the setting, rules, and upcoming campaign.

Sometimes I just fumble around with gear and stats and see what kind of character background can explain the results. I tend to do that when I'm not so clear on how the game is going to turn out or I'm less than enthused by the campaign the GM is planning.

Sometimes it's somewhere in between those two.
Bigity
QUOTE (Cursedsoul)
I like to spend the most time on the backstory, go a bit overboard with appearance, and explain my contacts with 1/2 a page minimum. Not strictly enforced mind you, but generally I'll go over that.

My backgrounds also tend to be 15 pages long in a MSworks document. I'm not kidding either. I generally don't finish them in their entirety, but they do get around 90% done.

Oh yes, I use the 20 questions in the SRcompanion to divvie it up into segments and I bold the questions themselves. I could double space it, but handing in a 30 page paper would probably make the GM shit themselves and I don't need to be causing those kinds of problems. grinbig.gif

Heh, did you ever play on SR Seattle MUX?
toturi
1) I do not really mind the Stress rules as I usually just pre-rolled the results.

2) I use an iterative method. I have a character concept, then I write the back story or I have a story, then I come up with the stats. Back and forth I go until I get a character I can live with (as a GM). Usually if I start by using BP, I got a concept that needs a story. A story needing a character, I use Priority usually.
Cursedsoul
QUOTE (Bigity)
Heh, did you ever play on SR Seattle MUX?

No, but I almost did. It was around the time I signed up here, like a month before or something. I was looking for a game to play and knew enough about SR to know it was something I was really interested in.

I somehow found SR Detroit. I started making a character and all that, got as far as writing the background then decided that I really didn't care for it. I decided I wanted to play IRL or on a message board sort of deal so that I could have the physical books with all the rules so that I could whine and complain, wheel and deal in an effort to get my way. biggrin.gif

Number one reason though was the commands. I didn't feel like learning all the commands and spending my time typing them in all the time. The background of BLACK was really rather annoying. I got to thinking "this is all I'll be looking at. Man this sucks."

I'm not one for text only games. I tried the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy one and it was awful.

I've played PS:T which is basically a playable book. That's as far as I can come to text only and still enjoy myself.

MUD's and MUX's are okay I suppose, but I mean, a MB is just as good if not better (automatic record of everything ever said accessible to everyone) and I could find some people to play with. I'm hoping I find some in college because giving up P&P is going to make me sad.

Of course I'm shooting for becoming a teacher so I know I'll probably have to give it up because I just won't have the time. Won't know until I try, and that's like, 4 years in the future. sleepy.gif
Bigity
Yea, there are quite a bit of commands to learn, especially if you are going the decker route! biggrin.gif

I played at both for years, until all the people I knew and liked had moved on, so I ended up moving on myself.

P.S. With a MU* client you can set up your colors and background to whatever you like wink.gif

And yes, no P&P group for SR makes me sad. I tried to get the guys to play a game of SR that I was going to run, but they were all, noooo, we want to play an evil campaign of D&D. Feh, you can be so much more evil in SR.
Cursedsoul
I didn't know you could switch the colors. would've figured it out, but really, the lack of pictures was just bleh.

I know the feeling with people not wanting to play SR and instead wanting evil AD&D. I was like "If I were in the room I'd slap you intelligent" but alas, I was not.

I need to learn how to be evil. I have like, no experience with it. I'm one of those people who'd gladly kill themselves to greatly improve the lives of a dozen people.

I think I just need some of those uh, what're they called? Friends is it? I'm a hermit. I don't talk to the two-legged things I see walking around. I'm also crazy so it makes it hard.

Them: "Hi"
Me: "SCREW THE GOVERNMENT! DOWN WITH WHITEY!"
Them: "Right. I'll be going."

Its fun to be "white" and hate "white" people. Its also fun to be anti-government because it scares the bejeezus out of the radicals. But if they'd talk to be about it I'd give them logical reasons for why I hate the government and wish to see it dissolve. I like the concept, but I've got an internal government that works just fine so screw you white man. Screw you, your laws, and your fake constitution.

*runs around waving an uzi and wearing a beret*
tjn
*speaks into his sleeve* Homeland Security? I've got confirmation on target...

anyways... back on topic...

1. Yeah, they do for me. Hell, I don't even truely understand them fully. My system is more... if the character doesn't get any successes, they take a point of stress and wing it from there. Basically either fluff or minor TN mods.

A visit to a street doc or whomever and they'll be good as new. That is enless they either refuse to, don't have the money to, or are in someplace like the Yucatan without access to someone who can fix it. If they start accumulating, then I might have to do a little more reading. As it is, it's not been an issue in my game.

2. As far as character creation, I generally use Sum to Ten. Priority has problems with meta's and the Build points has problems with Magic. And then BeCKS and I aren't on speaking terms.

After that I usually have a vague sorta notion of a concept and it gets filled in as I go along. It can be as simple as "try to make cyberarms worth it," but by the time I'm done with the number crunching I have a good idea of how the character acts.

I don't usually go with the ten page background before play; rather I like playing them a session or two, and get into their skin, see how they think. If the character evolves into one that I really start to like... then I'll do the ten page background and start delving into his history.
TinkerGnome
Stress rules get a bad rap. They actually don't require any extra rolling unless stress is incured (pretty rare). You just compare the number of boxes of damage they're taking against the highest die roll on their resistance test.

Pretty much, it only really comes into play when a character takes an S or D wound from a single shot. Since you can't survive two of those in a game session (usually), you don't really deal with it that many times a game.
KosherPickle
QUOTE (Cursedsoul)
Also, the nuyen system is the definite winner in my book because its always like "dammit, I don't want 400k but I can't work with 200k either" with the point system, and I'll end up buying a bunch of stuff I don't necessarily care about. Its not a HUGE deal, but its sufficiently annoying to well, annoy me. smile.gif

You realize that intermediate nuyen values for the build point system were calculated a long time ago, right?

Copied from the old forum:

-5 ======= 500
-4 = 1,400
-3 = 2,300
-2 = 3,200
-1 = 4,100
0 ===== 5,000
1 = 8,000
2 = 11,000
3 = 14,000
4 = 17,000
5 ==== 20,000
6 = 34,000
7 = 48,000
8 = 62,000
9 = 76,000
10 ==== 90,000
11 = 112,000
12 = 134,000
13 = 156,000
14 = 178,000
15 === 200,000
16 = 240,000
17 = 280,000
18 = 320,000
19 = 360,000
20 === 400,000
21 = 450,000
22 = 500,000
23 = 550,000
24 = 600,000
25 === 650,000
26 = 720,000
27 = 790,000
28 = 860,000
29 = 930,000
30 = 1,000,000
Cursedsoul
Do you have a date for me? I started coming to (or at least checking the forums of) DS after the old forums were created.

So, no there's a good chance Id've never seen that thread.

Even so I probably knew sometime in the past but obviously forgot.

The only worthwhile reason that I don't like using the PS IS the unbalanced skill system.

Besides, to me BeCKS (or a system like it) makes more sense. You use karma to improve skills in the game so why not just use it to start with? Now for a quick start I can understand, but even when I was completely 100% new I wasn't THAT damnably ignorant and lazy.

If you're trying to get a new player playing a game before they can read the main rules book you've made a really bad choice so I don't know a really solid reason for having two different systems when the karma system is easy to comprehend. Might seem overwhelming, but its nothing more than a couple If-then clauses and some simple math that even the dumbest fool can use a calculator for (I prefer my TI-83+ because of the viewing screen which keeps tabs on my calculations without me wasting paper. Good for adding up a LOT of gear I think).

I also like more skills as opposed to higher level ones. When you can almost get 4 level 3 skills for the karma of a level 6 you tend to think a bit harder, no? Two level 4's cost 28 karma, and that's probably passable for general useage.

I think the system would shine more if there were more active skills, or if your GM will let you purchase knowledge skills with the karma.

KosherPickle
QUOTE (Cursedsoul)
Do you have a date for me? I started coming to (or at least checking the forums of) DS after the old forums were created.

So, no there's a good chance Id've never seen that thread.

Even so I probably knew sometime in the past but obviously forgot.


Well, now that it's posted here, the only problem we'll be running into is a forum update. And I don't think that'll happen for a while. smile.gif

QUOTE
The only worthwhile reason that I don't like using the PS IS the unbalanced skill system.


What, where every skill point costs a build point? Whatcha mean?

QUOTE
Besides, to me BeCKS (or a system like it) makes more sense. You use karma to improve skills in the game so why not just use it to start with? Now for a quick start I can understand, but even when I was completely 100% new I wasn't THAT damnably ignorant and lazy.


I think that BeCKS is a very creative chargen system. I don't know how balanced it is, yet. It did go through a revision, with recalculations and stuff. In addition, I've never created a character with it, although I have a decent amount of free time on my hands for number-crunching...

QUOTE
I also like more skills as opposed to higher level ones. When you can almost get 4 level 3 skills for the karma of a level 6 you tend to think a bit harder, no? Two level 4's cost 28 karma, and that's probably passable for general useage.

I think the system would shine more if there were more active skills, or if your GM will let you purchase knowledge skills with the karma.


I'll bust out the NSRCG and see for myself.
Necro Tech
1.) Yeah, the easy way we do it is to just watch the soak rolls (6 or 10) for S or D and deal with the after effects later. Usually they are crippled anyway. The new Dossier have a page for laying out you cyber and bio to conform to the rules.

2.) I always use the points system for generating all my characters. Since everyone in the group uses it balance isn't really an issue. Maybe its just the way my characters are built but I've never found the priority system to be more of a benefit.

With me, I come up with an idea and then try to form a character around it. Once the ground work is laid I try to get secondary skill sets and things that would be munchkin not to have (or a really damn good background excuse). I made an army ranger character and gave him parachuting. Haven't used it, probably never gonna use it but not taking it would be weak.
Cursedsoul
QUOTE
What, where every skill point costs a build point? Whatcha mean?


That's exactly what I mean. Every skill point should NOT COST A BUILD POINT. At least, not from levels 1 through 6.

oh and I'm talking about BeCKS2.0, not the original. I've only used 2.0.

Anyways, back to why 1 skill shouldn't equate 1 BP.

A skill rating 3 is average. Something that's probably a hobby, you do it for fun or a living, but its not yet your main focus.

Level 4 is starting to get to that line. Its something you're probably working on perfecting.

5 and above and its a passion, an innate gift, something you've dedicated your lifetime to pursuing, whatever you want its something that you just can't magically pull out of your ass and say "here it is!" You had to put in a LOT of effort.

To me, a level 6, something that the BBB says is innate, something you do about as well as you BREATHE doesn't qualify for two rinky dink shmucko rank 3 skills. Not in my lifetime anyways.

Its more like what becks2 does. 30 karma for level 6. 8 karma for level 3. one HELL OF A DIFFERENCE, ya know? smile.gif

Three level 3's, a level 2 (4 karma) and two level 1's (1 karma) is more like it.

A level four costs 14 karma. Two dedicated interests is a better representation of the time you spend on that innate skill. You even get a couple introductory level 1 skills to boot.

Hell, a rating 5 costs 21 karma and you can STILL get another level 3 and a level 1 for the SAME PRICE AS A LEVEL 6.

Catch my drift? No way in hell does 1 BP = 1 skill point from start to finish.

Sure its convenient, its quicker for the average dumbass to pick up on if they've never seen it before, but really, anyone who can read and use a calculator can work with BeCKs2.0 without any difficulties.

I can only see a problem for the 100% new guy. Evne 99% ignorant fools like myself have no troubles.

Like I also said before BeCKs2.0 uses karma in the same manner as SR3. Hell, the tables are just there for convenience. So long as you meet the attribute requirement you can use that table lickity split. Didn't take me much more than a couple of times writing in the karma cost next to the skill before I learned the values.

If you don't qualify no sweat, there's the formula right there for you to calculate.

BeCKS stresses more rounded characters. When you have to pay THIRTY KARMA for a level 6 skill you ain't taking a lot unless you're a specialist. Hell, for 90 karma I can get 16 active skills at rating 3 or I can get 3 active skills at rating 6. Whoopee.

Of course a rating 3 won't do you too much good, but say you boost that to level 4, which would probably be the cutoff point for like, a firearms skill and not too shabby for things like athletics and stealth. 14 karma into 90 gives you 6 level 4's and 6 karma to spend elsewhere.

Where I REALLY like BeCKS is specializations. God damn its cheap.

Say you have 6 quickness and want to fire a pistol at skill level 6. You only want to really use one so you specialize.

30 karma for a rating 6 by itself isn't too tempting when you can pay for a 3/6 skill for a measly 11 karma. 33 karma is almost the cost of that ONE rating 6 AND its three skills.

Shotguns/spec, pistols/spec, Cyber implant combat/spec and you've basically covered your heavy firepower, general purpose firepower, and melee needs all in one go and for just a bit more than a rating 6. All are 3/6 too so you can even use other weapons of their types to decent effect.

I like BeCKS2.0 because you have a good assortment of skills, a good amount of money, and/or a good amount of contacts.

More well-rounded characters is what you get with BeCKS.

Gets even better with knowledge skills. Rating 4 is only 10 karma, and that's pretty good is it not? Presuming you can spend karma on knowledge skills you not only get free karma for knowledge + language skills (similar to the free Intx5 skill points) but cheap access to an endless pool of what I think are really useful skills.

Afterall if its not who you know, it what you know.

Statements such as "I'm not the mechanic here ironsides, I mostly just hurt people!" (Alien:Resurrection) won't get you far when you have to apply non-active skills to solving problems. Contacts may not come up with anyone/thing/etc so it could be up to your own abilities.

If nothing else you can get a lot of free complimentary bonuses. Biotech/First Aid 3/6 with medicine 6 can be had for 32 karma. Get a rating 6 medkit (Doable using the formula in M&M's medical section) and you get 12 dice and 6 complimentary, giving you a potential of 15 successes and that's without any help at all. Quite fun, inexpensive to boot.
Cray74
QUOTE (Cursedsoul @ Jul 14 2004, 12:47 AM)
Catch my drift? No way in hell does 1 BP = 1 skill point from start to finish.

Meh. 1 BP = 1 skill point makes accounting easy. Character creation points aren't necessarily the same as karma points. nyahnyah.gif wink.gif
tjn
QUOTE (Cursedsoul)
QUOTE
What, where every skill point costs a build point? Whatcha mean?


That's exactly what I mean. Every skill point should NOT COST A BUILD POINT. At least, not from levels 1 through 6.

Says you. I can give several reasons right off the bat that Skill Points should be one for one. BeCKS is not the orgasmic solution to all of Shadowrun's needs it's portrayed as.

1. Ease of use. One doesn't need a huge running tally to use skills or verify if the PC is within the guidelines. Resources is already a headache; there is no need to expand that headache to other parts of character creation when a simpler mechanic is readily available.

Sure it's not too much for a single player who's got the time to craft a character and play with numbers until it comes out fine. But as a GM being handed five or six characters to review at the same time? And still find time to pull the team together with an intro at the same session? Screw that.

2. Setting issues. Instead of a few specializations which encourage a team to create unique and defined roles, BeCKS encourages players to make carbon copy generalists where everyone has nearly every skill at four.

The canon creation systems are specifically aimed to produce specialist characters that work together as a team, and does not make "normal" characters in any sense of the word. BeCKS discourages the exact character the setting is designed for because Karma does not equal Building Points.

3. Design issues. The mechanics of the skill ratings are not accurately represented in descriptions the book gives us. If someone is practiced with pistols, realistically the gun will not jam every 36nd shot. But that's what a skill rating of two, a level the book refers to as "practiced," can expect.

So any perception based upon what it's described in the book is flawed. So we need to base our judgements upon how the dice will roll statistically, and there's many threads on that. But the concensus is that a skill rating of one or two are practically worthless, and four is the point where one doesn't have to worry about botching with every roll.

In my judgement, that puts a 4 at Practiced or a Hobby/Interest. Not two.

And then there's the balance problems. BeCKS practically crucifies Awakened characters and the costs for metatypes are out of whack. But that's for another time.

In conclusion, the canon creation methods were designed to encourage characters that are designed to fit the standard setting. BeCKs, in it's zeal to demand "realistic" and "consistant" character development, makes a workable shadowrunner deisgned for the normal setting hard to create.
toturi
I find myself agreeing with tjn. Not because he is actually pro-Canon on this case, but the boring sameness that BECKS creates is quite irritating.

BECKS creates "realistic" characters that are nearly clones of each other. At least for BP or even Priority there is quite some difference in which characters are created.

I use BECKS as a kind of gauge of the "actual karma" of the new PC. For example, after a character is created using 123 BP, I use BECKS to reverse calculate how much "karma" he had accumulated and spent.
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