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Crimson Jack
I run astral quests for the two majickers in my group during down time via e-mail. We normally have a pretty involved, descriptive, and all around fun time at this. It saves a lot of time for when we all get together to play. My question is: do you think that karma should be awarded for this or is the point of the astral quest the only payoff?

I'm about to make this decision in our new "by the book" campaign (ie we're running the game and progression by 99% of the rules) and I was just curious how the concensus felt. Fire away.
I would say only if you provide the other players ways to earn Karma in downtime as well...or award a slightly higher amount of karma during play.

It is only fair to give all players equal opportunities to gain Karma.

Edit: the other option is to preplay these sessions so as not to take time and momentum out of the game. That would take these players out during actual session time for a reasonable amount of time....

There's some big tradeoffs either way, I would ask your group to come to a consensus from a few options.
It depends on the astral quest really.

If it's being used for drek and giggles, or to initiate, no not really.
However, Harlequen's Back was nothing but one big astral quest, and you got something like 80 karma if you did everything.

I would say if you make the point of the campain or run the astral quest, that would be an easy yes. If the quest is only part of the run, then it might be worth a few karma.

I would also agree with Kaosaur.

My 0.02 nuyen.gif smile.gif
Defiantly a maybe

If the astral quest is a planed part of a run (such as was mentioned in relation to harlequinís back tho I have not read it) then the astral quest is generating karma as part of the run, during the astral quest it will be possible to earn karma for hummer, drama, surprising the GM all the normal ways.

If the astral quest is not planed for a run then it may generate karma for that run under the surprising the gm, right place right time, in the case of a hard quest guts or any other appropriate category of individual karma award.

If the astral quest is being performed outside of a run to advance the character (initiation, learn spell) then probably not. Only for something truly special that was going to be retold for months if not years would I consider granting a point of karma in this situation.

I would say that if there was no point (as in initiation, learning spells, etc), then the player could get something jsut for going through it, and the experience. But it would have to be a lto more drawn out than just a quick off the cuff quest. And I would still limit it to 1 or 2 karma tops. If a mage fails (dies) on an astral quest, he goes back to his body. Woop-de-doo. Not much of a threat there, so he shouldn't get much pay off. But he shou;d be able to learn something from it. just be very careful of abuse.
You can die on an astral quest, especially the high rating ones. Most astral quests during downtime are to learn spells pr initiation ordeals, when you do a force 5 astral quest to learn a spell you are already getting a 5 karma discount on the cost of your spell you donít need any more karma. For truly exceptional role playing on an astral quest during down time I would consider giving one karma only (and we are talking world class impressive stuff to get that).

Every use of an astral quest has a direct payoff to the quester (with the possible exception of joyriding in the Meta plains) you donít need more.

Sure, Just about every astral quest has a payoff. So does a shadowrun. That's like saying "oh, you got paid for this run, so you don't get any karma. Well, you DID happen to save the world at the same time, so, i'll give you all 1 karma.... Why are looking at me like that and pulling out those weapons?...."

Anyway, I was under the impression that anything characters do gets them karma. otherwise, ONLY shadowrunners can ever have skills, and ONLY shadowrunners can ever Initiate. Since the only way to get the karma necessary to do so is to get a job doing something illegal. Uh, I think not. Astral Quests should give characters karma (i agree witht the not much (like 1 or 2 max), but still. And, I also agree that MAYBE the shouldn't get karma if it's just a "Ok, you're in the Place of Charisma. Roll Charisma to resist 3S stun. Ok, you get to the citidel. Good job." But, it it's roleplayed out (and noe just ROLLplayed out) then i think karma is essential to the way the world works.

.02 nuyen.gif
Talia Invierno
I'll second (third? fourth?) the "maybe" -- but only in the sense that any gaining of karma should be a "maybe".

Time and fairness have been brought up as issues. If the quest is part of the active group storyline, then it's relevant, and should be counted appropriate to the manner in which the character completes it.

If it's outside the group storyline but forwards personal storyline, it should be counted within the same criteria -- and the additional one that performing the quest shouldn't disrupt the group, by which I mean "steal" the centre of attention from everyone else, gain the GM's focus at the continuing expense of everyone else. Everyone should certainly have their individual time in the spotlight, but it's when one person hogs it continually that a group can quickly run into problems. I'm sorry, I can't think how better to word that, and I've already been bounced off the log-ins ten times now so I'm leaving it as is, and hoping everyone understands what I mean. The most common other place to see this phenomenon in action is with the highly social character, but every type of extreme can be responsible.

If it's "only" for the purpose of personal character advancement (usually during downtime), karma should only be awarded if it turns out to be both something lengthy and exceptional.

Note that every character, mundane and Awakened alike, has a similar opportunity to earn "bonus" karma for their own focused (non-astral) quests.

Finally, I'll note that there is something of a responsibility of each player and of the GM to contribute to everyone in the group having fun -- or at the very lease not taking away from it. I've touched on this earlier, but I reiterate that few things can detract from group fun faster than extended single character actions such as the astral quest (or decking, or the social character doing the rounds of their contacts ...). The easiest way around this, when it's not part of the full group storyline, is for the GM and single player to arrange some time for a little one-on-one: maybe just a matter of coming in a couple of hours early, maybe setting a different day altogether. That allows full attention to be paid to the only character involved, without taking away from others.

In other words, you want the personal benefit, be prepared to invest the extra personal time ... such that you don't take it away from others.
Any astral quest for the purpose of karma reduction should not net karma for the quest itself -- or, if the quest would award more karma then the reduction, the karma award should be reduced by that amount.

Quests not for the reduction of karma costs should net karma. It just makes sense. But, the quests should have purposes that are valid. 'Should I do my laundry today' is Not. Finding the answer to some question which may prove useful later to the game or overall storyline is.

That being said, it should not be set up so as to penalize other players who don't. They either have to have their own options for karma beyond running, or the quests can't be worth much karma (unless the players don't care.)
On the issue for where NPCs get karma, there all on the amoral karma rules and have to pay for it, there is no karma shop I know, this is because you donít buy karma and sped it you buy training and the cost of the training is determined buy the karma you would need. In the case of initiation, spell learning and enchanting it is also represented buy expensive magical reagents. Everything can be easily muddled in this way.

The second problem is balance, during downtime the mage goes astral quests to learn 3 spells and rescue his ally spirit, the decker hacks into a corpret host and steals some new programs for his deck, he also inserts an order so some deck parts get sent out to him, that is just as worthy of karma as an astral quest(the risk is certainly comparable as is the reward) the rigger maintains his drones, thatís not going to get him anything, he could go out and MIGY some corporate drones into a shipping container, will that get him karma as well as hundreds of thousands of nuyen worth of hardware, the samurai gets an upgrade and spends 3 weeks in hospital that wont earn much karma while the athletes way adept goes and plays roller hocky with a teem from the Ďgoodí part of Redmond nice thing to do but no risk at all, (all these are based on characters I have played or played with)

I tend to say that in order to prevent some characters from getting large amounts of extra karma nothing don during downtime should earn karma unless it is really special (never seen something good enough happen)

QUOTE (Edward @ May 14 2005, 12:36 PM)
I tend to say that in order to prevent some characters from getting large amounts of extra karma nothing don during downtime should earn karma unless it is really special (never seen something good enough happen)

I don't see how doing your job, Shadowrunning in this case, gets you karma then. If you can't get karma unless you do something REALLY special why does killing some guy get you 5 karma, why does delivering a package give you karma, why do i get karma for stealing a new computer chip if i don't get karma for hanging out at a night club or dikoting my ally spirit?

EDIT: And on that note, I SHOULD get karma for hanging out at a nightclub and gettting drunk a nd picking a fight in which I use my Adept powers. Otherwise, there better not be any NPCs with Quickened spells. THose Wage Mages better not anchor anything for some corp. Otherwise they must have gotten karma from doing something that wasn't really special. Oh, and Great Dragons can't use any Karma to make me re-roll successes, because they don't have any, they aren't shadowrunners, and you can only get karma from running. (The Guy on the Track Team has alot of Karma though, He runs every day)
The concept of karma itself as a means of advancement is already so unrealistic that there's really no point in analyzing it for further inconsistencies.
You earn Karma for accomplishing objective and for the various roleplaying cues suggested in the karma award section (staying in character, guts, making the grouplaugh etc.).

So, you earn karma for the quest if it was an objective in itself or if your actions during the quest earns you karma according to the usual criteria.
I said before, NPCs get karma for the skills and quickened spells using the amoral rules.

But that is really just an excuse. It doesnít make logical sens but nether dos a reward for playing in character, from eth point of view of the character there is no such concept. No RP game has ever had a totally consistent and logical system of character advancement, the real reason I donít allow it is balance. If you where allowed fto have a karma for going out ant using your adept powers in a bar fight and spend every night in bikie bars you will be earning 5-6 more karma a month than the character that likes to relax quietly in his down time, thus you will quickly outstrip him in the game and it wont be fun any more. Should a player be forced to play a relatively week character because he wants to play a character that likes peas and quiet between jobs

I'll just throw in my vote with what's already been said.

1) No if it's for initiation (it's like the 'deed' thingy) or for decreasing the karma cost of spells.

2) The non-magic users must have a way of gaining karma as well (I generally let them use their off time to go do work on their own, which is a good way to earn some cash and karma).
I have to side with no because the benefit of an astral quest is not necessarily the experience directly. Usually it is knowledge or wisdom gained from the goal of the quest, if in fact said knowledge or wisdom is not the goal. Plus, it is not terribly fair to the other PCs unless they have a chance to do downtime RPing with you similarly.
Crimson Jack
I decided not to award any karma for the astral quest, as there was already a benefit in learning a new metamagic technique. If there was to be any reward, it wouldn't have been big (maybe 1 to 2 points).

To keep things equally interesting for the mundanes on the team, I started up a few downtime random encounters for them to be amused with and garner themselves a few points of karma and a little side cash.

Everyone appears to be happy. Thanks for the replies.
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