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Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
I had an idea of running a game on the boards where each character was at a different level. I have noticed the habit has been to just say "135 BP + 25 karma" for everyone (or sum such number).

Has anyone done this table top? I know there is a world of difference between DSF games and TT games, but I was curios to see if my fellow Dumpshockers had any incite.

Sure I got an incite for you - we should rise up and KILL THE TAPEWORMS! Murder them in their beds! They come over here, takin' our jobs....

Ahem. Sorry, bad form to criticise spelling, I know, especially when I'm barely literate myself, but still, it was too good to pass up!

I've not played online, so I'm not too sure what the question really is, I mean, 135BP + 25 karma probably only works out at about 145BP (VERY rough guess) total, which in a table top game I would equate to about a character with KP3 or so. We have a house rule for characters joining mid campaign where we take the average Karma Pool rating of the existing characters, subtract one, and then award 5 Build Points per karma pool point remaining on top of the 135 we start with, then give the new character a Karma Pool equal to the average of the other characters minus 2, just to make them have to work a little bit. But that's just us. I don't think a Build Point total of 135+25 Karma is going to make that hideous a character, but then we tend to play a high karma game.
on shadowland, my ~200 karma character regularly runs with starting-level runners. granted, he ends up doing most of the combat work, but it seems to work out okay. haven't had any complaints yet; the GMs have, so far, put out enough opposition that my char can take the lion's share of the kills, and there's still plenty left over for the rest of the group.
IMHO also NEVER tell someone if and how much karma they will get after chargen. It's very easy to cheese chargen so that karma goes FAR more distance if they know they're getting it later.
First of all, this is best done secretly. No player should know more about the others than what is revealed in-game (or through co-authored bios, if the characters have to have a history together).

As to in-game rewards, I always give them out in secret, no matter what the game venue. I don't see why anyone would do otherwise.

There really is no reason why characters of disparate power levels can't work together. Especially in Shadowrun, where 'level' is not as important as it would be in D&D.

One thing you might want to keep in mind is that you might want to have players you are more familiar with play the more experienced characters, as they will usually (but definitely not always) be the ones driving the storyline, or at least integral to it's advancement. This isn't really a bias, but more a cautionary thing. In online games there is a tendency to start a lot more games than a person can handle. The drop-out rate of players (and GMs) in online games in atrocious (and I am no exception to this). Players who have a proven track record will normally be there when the game (and plot) needs to be moved along.
Modifying some of my D&D GM'ing experience to a SR perspective, Some karma awards you can give 'in public' to the group. Some stuff, like awards for good RP and such, I like to give privately. Granted its easier to 'hide' in SR as people have mentioned, its a little easier to run a group with a different skill-level array of characters than it is in D&D.
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