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To start with, a Shadowrun game is starting up in my area, and I've got no Shadowrun experience. Zip, zilch, zero. Compounded on to that, I've got no books at the moment (of course I can use the ones the GM has when we're playing or prepping, but that doesn't help me much). Normally, either factor wouldn't be a problem, I'd take my time, learn from the others as I ago and what not. Now, the two biggest problems spring up.

1) No one in the group, sans GM, has ever played Shadowrun, hence there will be much confusion, and only one person to really help out. I'd, personally, like to be able to let the GM handle complex decisions while I can help out with simple stuff (for example, what the various attributes mean on item descriptions, how to work creating a character, such and such). Basically put less pressure on the GM so he doesn't get frustated dealing with us.

2) There is a whole lot of information to cover that isn't discussed in the books (at least from what I've read so far). For example, how many megapulses are you likely to need for basic life in your various systems? On top of that, my dumb self had to go and decide on making a rigger type character (the whole Decker/Matrix thing sounded cool, but the GM disallowed that aspect for the first game). That brings in a whole bunch of complicatioms I'm having problems with. Examples, what kind of rating should I look for for an introductory remote control deck? Creating my own drones, because the ones available to me that I've seen so far (Rigger 2, and Third Edition book) are significantly lacking in much beyond Surviellance ability. What kind of skills get the most use (especially in terms of Vehicle/Drone control)?

I'd go through the forums to look up information on the subject, but most of what I've found invovles a lot of acronims (I'm sure I spelt that wrong) I'm no familiar with, and I've got not book to cross-reference. So, basically I'm looking for some kind of basic primer/introduction to Shadowrun. I realize I'm not going to get much to help on issue #2, but I can clear up issue #1, I can at least save the GM from a massive headache.
I'd give you a good long primer but my wife is sitting on the couch near me prolly wishing I'd pay her more attention. I just wanted to give this a bump so the more experienced Dumpshockers could see it.

One of these prolific writers on this board will give you a great answer. If not, I will try my best sometime by tomorrow night.

Good Luck!
Crusher Bob
If you aren't sure, you can either look at the archtypes, get the highest rting you can at char gen (6) since it's important to your task on the team.

As for drones, the skills depend on what kind of drones you want:

If you got for all air drones:

Say, condor type drones for watching (Skill: lighter than air aircraft)
And rotor drones for combat (Skill: Rotor aircraft)

If you want to do stuff on the ground as well (and drive your 'homebase car' like a demon) skill: car helps too.

As a rigger you'll probably want some build/repair (B/R) skills, in your favorite types of drones. You may also want the electronics skill with the electronic warfare specialization (though you may not really have the rules or the inclination to do much with this)

To acutally fire the guns on your vehicles/drone you'll want the gunnery skill.

Almost all (or all?) of the drones come without weapons which are then added on, you'll want to look up the hardpoint/firmpoint rules (in SR3?)
QUOTE (Crusher Bob)
Are you looking for an intro to RPGs in general?

An intro to the world setting and typical 'feels' of the game?

Or just a discussion of common rule mechanics?

I'm familiar with a lot of RPG systems (D20, AD&D, the old Traveller d6 (it's been a while though), Ars Magica (ditto), and GURPS). As for the fluff, I can get a lot of that online, and during the game, so all I'm really looking for are mechanics.

Also, I'd be more than happy with just a simple link somewhere, if it's been done before. No reason for anyone to drop some time into typing anything out if it's already been done and I've just missed it.
This is Dumpshock. Wasting time is our business, and we have become extremely proficient at it.

I'd be glad to answer specific questions. How did you find the canon vehicles/drones to be lacking, out of interest? With regard to the remote-control deck, go with the highest rating you can afford (6 if you can get it); not only does it increase the number of drones you can control or have affiliated, it also makes it more difficult to hack your network.

Speaking of which, buy encryption.

Talk to your GM. If the campaign is going to last a while, get the MIJI stuff. Otherwise, get more drones or a bigger armored car.

VCR 2 is minimum. Any vehicle skills need to be at least 4 or so, or the default to reaction is almost as good. RC deck rating is 6.

The real rigger combat rules start page 80, Rigger 3

For Cars, get the general skill. For flyers, the only one you might not want to specialize (Remote Control) in is Rotor, or maybe fixed wing

The Strato 9 and condors are my default flyers. Often I take nothing else for the air.

Steel Lynx and Doberman for mainline ground combat. The lynx can stand up to one hell of a lot, and the Doberman has an extra weapon slot I usually fill with various odds and ends (MGL 6, Taser, dart gun, splat gun). Remember, Steel lynx ignore any basic grenade type.

If the GM is using the first print of rigger 3, get ferrets. Not fast or armed, but smart scouts.

Get pop up turrets for anything armed you drive on a city street. Disable the Vehicle termination chips, have a good library transponder chip, a morphing license plate, and photovoltic paint on anything you plan on using on runs.

Get a cheap [elektro, aztech GCR] vehicle with a RC rig in case your group decides you need a car bomb

If the GM lets you, get at least one Vermicide Autocannon. Capable of taking down a bulldog sec van.

And the ultimate Rigger advice: Anything less than 2X your armor rating bounces. The exception is Anti-vehicle ammo, which will kill any vehicle if shot from a heavy pistol
Anything less than 2x+1 your armor rating bounces unless AV.

Well, I don't have Rigger 3 available to me (just Rigger 2) which contains some of the Condors and the Dobermans I saw in the Third edition book, haven't seen the others for drones.

Otherwise much appreciated advice.
Don't dicount the other huge benifit of a rigger....
Tapping into rigged building security systems.

Turn off cameras, open doors and even control on site security drones.

You may need to bump off the security rigger first in a show down of willpower, but hey.

Most of this data is in rigger three unfortunatly.

You will need a data tap with a rating higher than the system you are accaessing (see equipment in SR3 source). The system can then be accessed through any device conected to the system through hard wire (no drone tapping). So have a good build repair electronics.

A decryption modual on your VCR so you can access and understand their systems (again get a decent rating, because rating = dice you role to get successes!)

Now configure systems and bump any security mages on board...
You now control the building.
Fire alarms
Gun Emplacements
Security anouncments
The Coke machine
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