Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Low-Powered Starting Characters
Dumpshock Forums > Discussion > Shadowrun
Given the new rules for starting lower powered campaigns, or rather just lower powered starting characters in MrJ'sLBB, has anyone done something similar to kick off a campaign? What sorts of things did you have to change, or take into account?

Basically, as I mentioned in another thread I'm kicking off a new game for a couple of friends and the wife who have never played Shadowrun, and I kinda wanted to introduce them to the game and to the shadows in parallel to their characters learning the shadows. I'll give them a mentor to show them the way, before he ultimately buys it. And I'll most likely start the game in late 2056 and bring them through the election, the Mob War, and the corporate restructuring.

Ultimately they'll start as suits, or techs, and get pushed into the shadows. (Part of a unknown plan by the Big D actually to have those friendly to his causes running the shadows so he could use them as needed and as assets in the future... though his death changes all that and they'll still be left in the shadows without an understanding of how they really got there... long plot thread to bring them into Draco near the end of their careers if they ever get that far.)

What sort of gotcha's should I be wary of?
Shanshu Freeman
I'd throw in some drama with those not too friendly to the Draco Foundation...

If they're friends of DF and don't know it, then they'll have enemies and not know it. wobble.gif
Wounded Ronin
I like the occasional low-powered game. Keeps things "real". Heh heh.
I knew some guys who use to like to play "poor man" style. It was kinda stupid. You got 3 in all atributes (then modify them) and 3 in 6 skills. Then you get 5000 and low lifestlye. That was it... If you were am agic user, you knew one spell at force 3.
Actually, for new players, low-powered is not a good idea. They'll want to try all the neat things in the books, and if you tell them, sorry, you're dirt poor, no smartlink for you, they're likely to think shadowrun sucks.
Actually, the street level campaign rules in MJLBB aren't half bad - you can get most of the nifty toys without going off the deep end.

Actually, using low powered chars are perfect for one-shots - give them their character, they're not tempted to add to it because they didn't create it.
We started a "low power" game a short while back. Based around a gang concept. 80 build points, max 4 in attributes, max 3 in active skills (could have one skill at 4).

It worked out just fine...except we'd just finished a spec forces game and had difficulty getting into the right mentality...

ah well... twirl.gif
I enjoyed playing in a 40-build-point game, but I tend to agree with Backgammon. Low-powered games are good for seasoned players, but can give a poor first impression of the game to newcomers. I am not familiar with the Mr J's book rules, though, so maybe they are not too bad.
Another option to consider (if you want a one shot to introduce and then let them build their own) is to use the archtypes straight from the book. Give them plenty of time to ask questions and get to learn what all their "stuff" does. Then, they'll make up their own minds as to whether or not they liked it.
I've done this with my home campaign, starting the characters out (using normal generation rules) as members of an "urban tribe". Everyone had a reason for living in a section of the Puyallup Barrens and were SINless. The player characters are like the "neighborhood watch" for the community.
I've made a 190 build point start game with a resource cap at ...I think it was 40K...can't really remember that part.

Or the other fun thing to do is to just have them write up their character backgrounds first before making a character and giving each player a unique build point system that is tailored for their backhistory to account for things like age and experiance, growing up wealthy, street punk to runner, and the like....

Only works if they don't know you're going to do it or if they are REALLY true to character purity and not geeking the system though
The 2nd edition game I'm currently in started as somewhat low-powered. Mostly, we just started at B priority and went down from there, and had caps on all the skills we could take, and severely limited starting cash. It ended up with all of us having either a lot of skills at low to mid levels, or sticking all our eggs in the attribute basket. My character started as a car thief with a squatter life-style, which was the highest lifestyle any of us started with, because everyone else shot all their money on a used pistol or a fourth-hand jackrabbit. Also, there was no starting with magic, which kept us from doing any of the serious runs before we could scrape up enough cash to properly arm ourselves and beef up karma to the point of a normal starting character (at which point throwing in other players worked without restriction). This was about a year and a half ago, but we play like monkeys, hitting it up for about an average of 5 nights a week whenever I've been in Ohio or the monkeys have come to DeeCee. Now we're all pretty powerful characters, having played through Harlequin and Harlequin's back, plus a buttload of our own adventures (about half of which revolve around us trying to find heating/food/whatever) but we're still not moving our asses out of the ash dunes, or even into a place with proper plumbing. We're REALLY mindful of money, because starting out there was about 5,000 nuyen among 4 players. The problem now is that we all want to get to the point where a normal character would be after this much game time, such as my decker/rigger (PAIN to pull one of those off from such humble beginnings) wanting to have a hot deck and a vectored thrust aircraft, both of which will take a long, long time.

Some of the best SR I've ever played was when we were dirt poor, though. There'd be a lot of go-gangers trying to chase us down and take the car I'd just boosted, and our only recourse would be to lose enough of them that we could get a couple on their own and have the troll chuck a rock at them, then take the bodies to an organ-legger for the 72 cents that he'd give us (hey, it's enough soykaf to keep us alert for the nightly take-over attempt on our squat by the local ghouls). Hell, if it weren't for our early days of even looting our enemies' bodies, our troll wouldn't be alive. He's working on a few second-hand limbs, and some second-hand reflex wires. We still haven't scraped together the kind of cred where we can really afford to yank those out and put new ones in. He's already got wires, money can better be spent elsewhere than putting tens or hundreds of thousands into giving the troll something he already has.
Nice. Thats exactly the reason I wanted to start a lower-powered game. Make them understand a)how the other half lives, and b) make them appreciate what they do get.

There is definitely some good material here. Thanks.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Dumpshock Forums © 2001-2012