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Lenice Hawk
I'm not exactly what you'd call a math/remember the rules/I know how many dice do I roll for that again type of girl. In fact, my GM (also my hubby) is still amazed by my blank look when he tells me to roll iniative.
Soooo, any tips for helping me remember all this junk so my dearest doesn't have to GM every freakin game? I'm for any strategies that don't involve dancing naked (in public at least) under a full moon. How do you remember all that stuff?
Capt. Dave
The best way our group has found to remember the rules is by repetition. The more you use the rules, the more they become second nature. Play lots of simple runs designed around a certain game mechanic (combat, social skills, etc.)

Make lots of characters you'll probably never play to get used to the chargen rules.
Practice the things you have problems with, and make some "cheat sheets" for commonly used tables, Karma costs, various modifiers. Most of these can be found on the GM screen. Most of us on this board who can quote rules from memory got that knowledge from using the rules over and over. Practice makes perfect.
Really, the ability to remember rules on command isn't really something that comes from intelligence or even a great memory; it's an issue of experience and practice. If you haven't played Shadowrun much or haven't played RPGs in general (or, worse, games), regardless of your cognitive ability or memory, you're at a fairly significant disadvantage, and it's one that really only goes away with time. I guess you may want to put together mneumonic devices if you go for that sort of thing, or any other memory tricks you may have used before for other things, but if you haven't had trouble in other parts of your life, then it's unlikely you'll pick it up with anything more than experience. Which isn't bad, necessarily; just takes time. Out of curiosity, how long have you been playing?


Also, cheat sheets and reference cards are a good idea. The rules are really an organizational catastrophe (not to mention often extraordinarily unintuitive, divorced from reality, and internally and logically inconsistent), so don't feel bad if you get confused or lost. You'd hardly be the first person.
The Grifter
I always use 3x5 index cards with the rules on them that come up often but I don't usually remember.
I can usually just read the manual twice, and I remember most of the stuff, but I've been having trouble with the @$#@$@#$ magic rules. I'm currently employing a PowerPoint with everything set out step-by-step; I'm working on an integrated spreadsheet to spit out TNs and things like that. (For those without laptops, 3x5 cards work just fine, too. However, they dislike spreadsheet functions). Getting a few different colors of dice (Dollar Tree sells 10 dice; 2 of each color for 1$) is nice, as you just determine that all the blue dice you brought with you are your initiative dice, red dice Body dice, etc. for all tests you need to make on a regular dice.
If you don't have it already download the GM's screen. It's still free at Battle Corps
and DriveThru RPG
Now that I've looked at them, the Shadowrun Quick Start Rules (also available for free download) might be helpful.
Crimson Jack
Play until you know the rules before GM'ing. Cheat cards and notes are going to be annoying (to the players) if you can't get a grip on what Initiative is and like concepts.

I played in a Shadowrun game once with a very inexperienced Shadowrun GM. She wasn't inexperienced with running a roleplaying session so much as simply as she was with the SR mechanics. Despite the fact that I could vaguely see the compelling story hidden in the murkiness of the "uhs..." and "ums... one sec"s, it was a horrible game to play in and all of the players never forgot about it. There wasn't all that much fun about having to coach the GM along and having her tip her hand repeatedly throughout the run, just so things wouldn't get so fubar'ed, we couldn't even finish it.

Just play until you know the rules to a degree that you feel safe enough to not have to ask the question. I understand the feeling of being the eternal GM, but its far better of a feeling than playing in a game where you can tell that your friends are holding back their groans. smile.gif
Agreed. You don't need to be perfect, but if you can, try and get more experience before GMing. If you can't do that, at least go over rules as much as possible and try and be as familiar with them (or at least ready to adapt) as you can be before starting. You can pick up the rest along the way, but being prepared can make a world of difference.
My wife plays games with me too (hehe, sorry), and runs plenty of them. One of the advantages that I;ve noticed is that the games she runs, as compared to some of our friends, are a lot more coherent and thought out, becuase she focuses more on the story, and enviroment than the rules. She works out the full plot (including way more tangent plans they she could ever need), and THEN pulls out books and starts working out the rules. Of course, some things get reworked. But her games are always good.
One suggestion, if your group is big enough,

have two GM's.

One, (you) make up the story, play the NPC's and what not, and the other GM does all of the rules and plays out the combats.

IMO even a player can help out with the combat/magic/everything else rules, esp. if the player is a good role player, he can help you with all of the rules and still play his character as if he didn't know what was going on behind the scenes.

I as a GM, am mostly familar with the rules but not really intimate, thus I rely on my players to know the specific ruleset that they are working with.

I don't know about everyone here but I have a hard time remembering something like 3.5 different rule sets. Thus the Decker in the group should know the decking rules, the rigger the miji/vehicle rules, the street sam the ranged/melee rules (altough everyone needs to know this really) but the Demo guy should know the demo rules, and so on and so forth.

My current GM (we play two different games) doesn't know the vehicle rules that well, but me as the rigger, explain what rules are applicalbe in the current situation and we apply them.

THis works as long as the players aren't dicks and are willing to help out the new GM.

hope this helps, and let me tell you keeping a group of players spell bound for 6 hours or more can be very rewarding. smile.gif

Wounded Ronin
Just have a meticulous rules laywer or two at the table and tell them to chime in whenever you screw up.

Me and several people I know do this. Nothing is more annoying than when a rules error goes uncorrected. Like, for example, some guy was claiming to have a katana with a D damage code. So, we pointed out that even a dikoted katana couldn't possibly have a D damage code, but rather would have a S damage code. And so the code was revised and play was improved.

At the time, granted, the GM did let slide the PC quick drawing the katana, when technically you can't do that without a physad power. I pointed it out, but he let it slide, so I guess as the Dead Alewives put it, "It's GM magic!!!"

My guess is that he didn't want the PC in question to get pwned by not being able to use his Edged Weapon skill. I guess that in theory GMs are supposed to do things like that, but I don't personally like it because it creates long term problems. If people start thinking, for example, that you *can* quick draw katanas, that messes things up in the long run when people begin to build up false expectations and learning a false set of rules in effect. And that in turn messes with strategy, in terms of the equipment that you take. For example, you might decide to take a Cougar Fineblade instead of a katana because you can quick draw the CF. But if that nuance is lost, an element of gameplay has been lost with it. A nuanced choice would have been removed from the game.

So, the bottom line is that a new GM should have a couple of good "rules lawyers" playing who have permission to correct every little thing. This is vital to insure that both the GM and any inexperienced players don't end up creating/learning a false set of rules created through error.
Lenice Hawk
Thanks for the advice. I think I'll start with the 3x5 cards, and then do practice runs with my husband. Making the cards may be a big help getting the remembering process started. My only issue with the rules lawyers is my hubby is one, and so is the other guy in our group. And they have more different interpretations of the rules than supreme court justices!
Once again, thanks for the help. smile.gif
QUOTE (Lenice Hawk)
I'm not exactly what you'd call a math/remember the rules/I know how many dice do I roll for that again type of girl.  In fact, my GM (also my hubby) is still amazed by my blank look when he tells me to roll iniative.
Soooo, any tips for helping me remember all this junk so my dearest doesn't have to GM every freakin game?  I'm for any strategies that don't involve dancing naked (in public at least) under a full moon.  How do you remember all that stuff?

Make a checklist of things to do for situations like combat. Make an outline (like in SR3) and annotate it with page numbers. I also use "signature flags" to create "hot spot" tabs. Color code them (blue = combat, red = magic, etc) and you can organize your books fairly well.

If I want to framilliarize myself with a topic, I will often read and take notes, then re-type the notes into an outline or cheat-sheet. I won't be an expert, but I'll have some vague memory usually.
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