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mfb
QUOTE (Rolemodel)
Are you serious? Like, wait, seriously? You're telling me that when a presented 'average' skill level is 3, and someone is walking around with -eight times that amount-, that not allowing them to succeed against amazing odds is -realistic-!?

i'm telling you that not allowing them to succeed against amazing odds every single time they try is realistic, yes. i'm saying that even high-end characters should fail against nearly-impossible odds a goodly portion of the time, but that they should succeed against them far more often than those of lesser ability. you keep trying to make everything binary, where characters either always succeed or always fail. real life is not binary.

the second part of your paragraph is raving lunacy. you want high-skill characters to regularly succeed against impossible odds, but god forbid that they regularly put down non-moving, non-dodging targets at close range. you are the anti-logic.
Ellery
Flowery descriptors are good rhetorical tools, but they're pathetic at figuring out what is likely to happen.

Maybe you're simply incapable of comprehending what I'm asking for, Rolemodel. That's rather sad. I want numbers. I don't expect you to be able to calculate probabilities--it's fine if you set up the problem and let me calculate it.

Rhetorical devices involving, "Look, look, blood and gore! Oh, woe, amazing destruction!" aren't going to fool me. You may have fooled yourself; I can't really tell. "Oh my god, look at all the blood!" is in no way a substitute for a calculation of how much blood, and how often you get that much blood.

If the relevant situation is shooting someone who is paying attention and is dodging and has four dice to spend and has an armor jacket resisting a shot from a predator with four body dice, and the key factor is how much damage they take on average, then say so.

QUOTE
But it seems fairly telling that '20' is much more difficult to budge than '5'. And '1' is much less difficult to budge than '0'. Surely you can get that basic little nugget?
You don't need to budge 0--nothing's happened then. And with a TN-based system, you're simply flat wrong. I've already calculated that you're wrong. Look at the relative probabilities and average damage. If you want me to do it again including dodge and armor and so on, I'll do this--but I want your prediction first regarding what the probabilities will be, and I want your agreement that you will admit that you were wrong if you are wrong. I will admit that I am wrong if I am.

You're acting like one of those students who came to me when I was a TA, whining about how they "always got As" and blah blah blah, blah blah blah, and I was thinking this, and blah blah blah--as a justification for why I should give them full credit for doing a math problem wrong, in a math class.

Sorry. You're making claims about outcomes when using dice. Those outcomes are governed by probability. If you don't want to live up to that standard, don't try to justify your argument by appealing to mathematical facts.
mmu1
QUOTE (Rolemodel)
TN(12) - Skill:24 Freak will not find that only 1 out of 36 dice thrown will meet this TN, and he will not even be able to produce a single 'average' success. Likewise, not unexpected, Skill:6 d00d will be equally hardpressed. Statistically, Freak may score one, and d00d will score none. With realistic deviance, Freak will score one, and d00d could too.

So here, we're presented with the matter of success borderlining with failure. Afterall, and a very good counterarguement, the difference between nothing and something is very dramatic.

I've said it before, but the SR3 rules define a TN of 10+ as "nearly impossible." Everyone who's not superhuman should regularly fail at nearly impossible tasks.

You're still refusing to look at "easy" and "difficult" tasks, chosing to look at "easy" and "impossible" instead - because you know that analyzing the former won't support your claims.
mfb
i wouldn't go so far as to claim that he knows much of anything, mmu1.
Triggerz
QUOTE (Sabosect)
QUOTE (Rolemodel @ Aug 24 2005, 12:24 PM)
You're implying that a system that requires veterans to exploit is a better system?  Is that, then, to imply that because we can crunch to our hearts content, we are somehow superior to other gamers?  And their lesser intellect should not be mixed with our pure-bred shadowrun?

Or, are you saying that because a flaw is not -immediately- obvious, it is more desirable, because at least on the surface everything looks fine?

Depending on the system? In this case, the flaws themselves have not really changed other than becomming easier to see. Easier to see = easier to use = less ingenuity in the use of.

Does that logically make the flaw any worse or better than before? No. And nor did I say it

QUOTE
I would say that is a strikingly accurate statement, if half of a character's skills are agility based.  I don't think it needs much more of a response than that.


Yeah, there's always that nagging "other possibilities" problem.

QUOTE
Without waking sleeping dragons, I will assure you that someone throwing as many dice as an adept is certainly -not- the problem.  Assuredly not.  On many, many, many, many planes.  And then some.  On top of it.  And a little more than that, even.

-RM


The problem is GMs who cannot handle it or do not have the experience to attempt to handle it. It takes little experience for someone to produce a min/maxed character and a lot of experience to handle the character in game in a way that keeps the game even and fun for everyone, as well as requiring experience with producing characters to recognize min/maxed from non min/maxed. That's part of why my group requires the GM to also be a player in some sessions, something I would recommend for all groups.

However, the real issue is always going to be experience. In an experienced group, you likely are not allowed to use a min/maxed character or there is some way of dealing with them in game that reduces their effectiveness or outright kills them. Or, you get a group that is all min/maxed characters and plays on a different level as a result. What some of us would like to see is a system that allows the GM to gain the experience necessary to deal with the min/maxers before actually having to face them. I'll admit it's probably a pipe dream. However, that doesn't stop us from pointing out the flaws in the system so those GMs can at least be forewarned and watch out for them.

I left the whole quote since it's a few pages before already and I assume not everyone's gonna remember what it was about if I cut too much.

Min/maxing is a HEALTHY thing when done within the logic of the game universe rather than done purely within the logic of the game mechanics. It shows that your character can come up with strategies that will help him stay alive longer. The problem is when the mechanics don't work and aren't in line with the logic of the game universe.

From what I saw attributes seem to be a bit too cheap relative to skills. The 50% cap at chargen might be enough to prevent the abuses at that stage, but I think 3 times the new attribute rating (in karma points) is too low a cost if it gives you the same bonus as raising a couple of skill groups by one. I don't have the book, so I don't really know which attributes are linked to which skill group or groups, but I assume there are quite a few instances where it just doesn't make sense to increase your skill(s) when you could increase the attribute for less. Raising Firearms skill group from 4 to 5 costs 25 karma points, right? and raising the linked attribute (agility?) from 4 to 5 would cost 15, right? or 18 karma point from 5 to 6, right?

If that's how things are, then the cost of attributes relative to skills is simply not right. You can try to kill players who raise their attributes because you assume that they're being munchkins - because high attributes aren't cool: everyone knows that the REAL roleplayers have minus 17 in every attribute. sarcastic.gif It couldn't possibly be that the character just want to have one particular attribute at a high rating because it fits with his/her own ideal, right? To avoid unnecessary paranoia and deaths, I think I will houserule new costs for pretty much everything. sarcastic.gif I'll make chargen a karma-based system where you raise skills and attributes from 0 and 1, respectively, and I'll fix the imbalance between the cost of attributes relative to skills. I'll adjust the number of karma points I give each game if need be.

I'll probably split the specialization in two steps too, each of which giving an additional die in your area of specialization, but that's another story.

I agree with everyone who said modifiers expressed in terms of dice, combined with the fixed TN of SR4, are problematic in that they don't affect everyone the same way - even when they SHOULD according to the logic of the game universe (as opposed to the logic of the game mechanics). I haven't really figured out the best way of dealing with that yet. Each system has its share of problems, but I guess I'll figure out a way to make the system work ok at both extremes - i.e. giving everyone a chance, no matter how slim, of accomplishing something that is almost impossible but not quite, while making impossible tasks impossible to everyone, no matter how many dice you have.

As an aside though, why did they keep the mechanics such a secret during development? I mean: ok, maybe people would bitch if the end result doesn't include all of their favorite options, but I'm pretty sure it would have resulted in a superior system overall. Maybe it's just my democratic bias, but I think a lot of passionate players would have had a lot to contribute.

*flashing neon arrows pointing at me* nyahnyah.gif:P:P

The game universe is way cooler than anything I could ever come up with on my own. I salute the developers for that. But I consider myself a good number cruncher and I would dare say I am better than most at systems analysis. I am sure some people on this board are a thousand times better at it than I am, but that's not the point: I just think that they would have sold just as many books - if not more - and would have gotten a better book overall had they allowed us to chip in as the new system was put together (rather than bitch once it's out and on track for a few years until SR5).
Ellery
It's not customary for RPGs to open up their core mechanics for debate. I know that there was at least one private offer to do analysis, and I'd have happily helped in a public context. Some of the playtesters provided a bit of analysis, too. However, it's not clear to me that most companies think it's important. There are certainly a fair few users who don't think it is.

However, you raise an interesting point--mightn't an open-source model be a good way to develop game mechanics? After all, game mechanics are really just a branch of applied math, and applied math is usually only developed in an academic setting, which works pretty much like open source except you publish your results in peer-reviewed journals.

I'm not sure that setting can be developed as well that way, but for mechanics it seems worth a try.

However, I don't think FanPro can really be blamed for not acting as the guinea pig. It's a fun "what if", and it may be the future of hardcore RPG design, but the future isn't here yet.
Triggerz
QUOTE (Ellery)
It's not customary for RPGs to open up their core mechanics for debate. I know that there was at least one private offer to do analysis, and I'd have happily helped in a public context. Some of the playtesters provided a bit of analysis, too. However, it's not clear to me that most companies think it's important. There are certainly a fair few users who don't think it is.

However, you raise an interesting point--mightn't an open-source model be a good way to develop game mechanics? After all, game mechanics are really just a branch of applied math, and applied math is usually only developed in an academic setting, which works pretty much like open source except you publish your results in peer-reviewed journals.

I'm not sure that setting can be developed as well that way, but for mechanics it seems worth a try.

However, I don't think FanPro can really be blamed for not acting as the guinea pig. It's a fun "what if", and it may be the future of hardcore RPG design, but the future isn't here yet.

hehe Yeah, I know... I still think that what we really pay developers for has more to do with their fleshing out of the game universe than of the game mechanics. I mean: it's not like game mechanics aren't important, but they're only important insofar as they help in the storytelling, in the actual playing of the game. If bad mechanics get in the way of playability, then everyone loses.

For the game universe, I'd rather have them develop it relatively secretely, so that they can surprise us with where things go as the timeline advances. But I see no reason why they should keep mechanics secret during development. They could still decide what makes it into the official rules and what will only be useful as house rules suggestions to the few people who have a problem with this or that. But I'm pretty sure the felt need to houserule would be much lesser if the people who care most about the game mechanics side of things were allowed to review the rules as they are developed and to make suggestions for improvements.

Anyways, my two cents.
Nerbert
Assuming that there's is no immaculate, perfect dice system the problem is that eventually someone needs to step in and choose between two different, not-quite-perfect solutions.
Kagetenshi
Ever hear of the term "fork"?

~J
Triggerz
QUOTE (Ellery)
It's not customary for RPGs to open up their core mechanics for debate. I know that there was at least one private offer to do analysis, and I'd have happily helped in a public context. Some of the playtesters provided a bit of analysis, too. However, it's not clear to me that most companies think it's important. There are certainly a fair few users who don't think it is.

However, you raise an interesting point--mightn't an open-source model be a good way to develop game mechanics? After all, game mechanics are really just a branch of applied math, and applied math is usually only developed in an academic setting, which works pretty much like open source except you publish your results in peer-reviewed journals.

I'm not sure that setting can be developed as well that way, but for mechanics it seems worth a try.

However, I don't think FanPro can really be blamed for not acting as the guinea pig. It's a fun "what if", and it may be the future of hardcore RPG design, but the future isn't here yet.

I suggest we take the lead for the fifth edition and flesh out game mechanics that fix the bugs of the fourth as soon as possible so that they'll be everything they should be when it comes out a few years down the road. nyahnyah.gif I mean: if the dumpshockers collectively develop a system that works smoothly and addresses all the relevant issues, then the developers probably wouldn't waste their time trying to come up with a completely different system just for the sake of it and they could focus their energy on fleshing out the game universe even more. nyahnyah.gif nyahnyah.gif nyahnyah.gif

AAAAAAAAAND... It'd be pretty sweet to have our name in the corebook!!! hehe (Or even just a big collective thanks to everyone at dumpshock.) wink.gif

Just a suggestion...
I guess I have too much time on my hands. spin.gif
Ellery
The developers are still there for that. But if the mechanic development group was in charge of producing a variety of systems, they'd be picking from between multiple well-tested systems with their benefits and flaws clearly spelled out.

It seems more like voodoo as it is.

Edit: Triggerz, this also seems to not be a custom. Game companies generally don't pick up fan rules, even if those rules work better than the standard rules on all levels. Maybe it's a copyright issue; I'm not sure. I just haven't seen it much. (I have seen things that look like poorly re-engineered copies of fan rules, so fan rules might serve as inspiration if not a direct source.)

I'd almost suggest avoiding creating really kick-ass rules for SR5, because then they'd be guaranteed to not be used nyahnyah.gif
Triggerz
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
Ever hear of the term "fork"?

~J

Let's fork right away then!!! biggrin.gif

If our branch of the SR4 tree becomes a better (not immaculately perfect, but significantly better), then maybe we'll get more of a say on the game mechanics when the fifth edition is developed. hehe Or maybe even future SR4 products... nyahnyah.gif

I sure as hell, for example, wouldn't mind taking a look at the martial arts rules before they come out!!!
Ellery
Kage's already forked--see the "SR3R" project he's working on.

I suspect he's not the only one.

The danger of course, is if you've ever heard of the term "copyright". If free rules work better than rules you have to pay for, and start cutting into sales (or are perceived as doing so), the copyright owner is well within their rights to sue. They could sue anyway, but as long as it's making them money, a RPG outfit without dedicated legal staff would be crazy to do so. Providing alternate rules isn't an automatic copyright violation, but I think a halfway decent lawyer could make a compelling case, and it's hard to pay for a halfway decent lawyer to provide a counterargument.

I don't think copyright issues are a reason to avoid modifying the rules to work better and sharing what you've done. But I do think it's worth pointing out that it's not necessarily entirely roses and rainbows.
tisoz
I think Kage's fork is SR3Revised.

too slow..
Triggerz
QUOTE (Ellery)
The developers are still there for that. But if the mechanic development group was in charge of producing a variety of systems, they'd be picking from between multiple well-tested systems with their benefits and flaws clearly spelled out.

It seems more like voodoo as it is.

Edit: Triggerz, this also seems to not be a custom. Game companies generally don't pick up fan rules, even if those rules work better than the standard rules on all levels. Maybe it's a copyright issue; I'm not sure. I just haven't seen it much. (I have seen things that look like poorly re-engineered copies of fan rules, so fan rules might serve as inspiration if not a direct source.)

I'd almost suggest avoiding creating really kick-ass rules for SR5, because then they'd be guaranteed to not be used nyahnyah.gif

hehe Maybe it's an ego thing? lol Seriously, I'm sure we can use some GUL-type framework to give FanPro the right to use whatever part of our mechanics they feel like and fork if they feel like it on other stuff. But yeah, I guess if we don't specifically make our mechanics "open-source", so to speak, then yeah, there's always the possibility that someone will turn around and tell FanPro: "This is my invention. You just stole it and now I want my share of the revenues." And we don't want that to happen any more than FanPro. I think most people here just really love the game and just want it to be as good as it can possibly be. And I really do believe that, if we take this seriously and take care of the possible intellectual property issues beforehand, then we could have a truly positive impact on the future of our beloved game. I might have more time in early September, so I guess I'll write to FanPro and ask. The worst thing that could happen is that they tell me to f**k off, but who knows? I think the developers love the game every bit as much as we do, so if we address their concerns about this whole process, then they might be more enthusiastic about it than we assume. hehe

I don't think they really want to come out with a fifth edition anytime soon though, and that would likely be the biggest issue. grinbig.gif
Triggerz
QUOTE (Ellery)
Kage's already forked--see the "SR3R" project he's working on.

I suspect he's not the only one.

The danger of course, is if you've ever heard of the term "copyright". If free rules work better than rules you have to pay for, and start cutting into sales (or are perceived as doing so), the copyright owner is well within their rights to sue. They could sue anyway, but as long as it's making them money, a RPG outfit without dedicated legal staff would be crazy to do so. Providing alternate rules isn't an automatic copyright violation, but I think a halfway decent lawyer could make a compelling case, and it's hard to pay for a halfway decent lawyer to provide a counterargument.

I don't think copyright issues are a reason to avoid modifying the rules to work better and sharing what you've done. But I do think it's worth pointing out that it's not necessarily entirely roses and rainbows.

I guess I'll have to take a look at Kage's rules. There's a lot of neat stuff in the 4th edition though.

Hmmm... Yeah, if SR4 sales go down because of an alternate set of rules and FanPro goes bust, then it's definitely no good. But I still think that the developers have skills and knowledge that make them "the men" (and women) of the situation for everything involving the game universe itself.

And I still think that people would pay good money to have nice-looking books with cool art and game-universe stuff written by the people who carried the game throughout the years. It'd be a different business model for sure though. And there are always risks involve in a transition to any new business model. It has to be done wisely.
tisoz
QUOTE (Triggerz)
I don't think they really want to come out with a fifth edition anytime soon though, and that would likely be the biggest issue. grinbig.gif

I have to disagree.

FanPro has shown, as did FASA, that incompetance gets rewarded.

A 5th edition in a couple of years will sell just as well as 4th edition.
Triggerz
QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Triggerz @ Aug 24 2005, 11:08 PM)
I don't think they really want to come out with a fifth edition anytime soon though, and that would likely be the biggest issue.  grinbig.gif

I have to disagree.

FanPro has shown, as did FASA, that incompetance gets rewarded.

A 5th edition in a couple of years will sell just as well as 4th edition.

Then it's settled. nyahnyah.gif I know that I, for one, would buy a fifth edition as soon as it's out if there's anything in it that actually makes the game more fun to play. Even if I know all the mechanics beforehand. Especially if I know all the mechanics beforehand because I helped in some small way to create or fix them. nyahnyah.gif And wouldn't you too? hehe I don't mean that as an insult. It's a real question. If the new art and the new fluff and the convenience of having all the rules that we actually use is worth more than the price of the book, then why wouldn't we buy it? I consider my buying of the SR4 rulebook a sunk cost. I'll buy it no matter what. The question of buying a fifth edition book or not is a totally separate one, unless FanPro f**ks up its reputation by releasing yet another new version so fast and people get tired of new versions. But then again, if they take a more open approach to the design of game mechanics, then everyone might know before the new edition comes out that the mechanics are solid and will carry the game for more than just a year or two. And if the fans of the game have pretty much reached a concensus (not quite, but much more so than for the 4th edition), then they'd know the rules wouldn't get all changed again anytime soon, so they probably wouldn't mind buying the books (again) for that new edition.

Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Ellery)
The danger of course, is if you've ever heard of the term "copyright". If free rules work better than rules you have to pay for, and start cutting into sales (or are perceived as doing so), the copyright owner is well within their rights to sue. They could sue anyway, but as long as it's making them money, a RPG outfit without dedicated legal staff would be crazy to do so. Providing alternate rules isn't an automatic copyright violation, but I think a halfway decent lawyer could make a compelling case, and it's hard to pay for a halfway decent lawyer to provide a counterargument.

While I would certainly have to consult with a lawyer before betting the farm on it, I'm pretty sure game mechanics are not covered by copyright—you'd need patents for that sort of thing, I believe. The game world that we're including we're doing so because it's being changed dramatically—enough that it should, in my estimation, be the intellectual property of the SR3R group. The only major legal weakness is the name, which would be a clear-cut case of trademark violation—except WizKids has already granted permission to use the Shadowrun mark for promotional or informational purposes.

I think we're clean.

~J
Triggerz
QUOTE (tisoz)
QUOTE (Triggerz @ Aug 24 2005, 11:08 PM)
I don't think they really want to come out with a fifth edition anytime soon though, and that would likely be the biggest issue.  grinbig.gif

I have to disagree.

FanPro has shown, as did FASA, that incompetance gets rewarded.

A 5th edition in a couple of years will sell just as well as 4th edition.

To be fair though, it's not their incompetence that we reward: it's what they do right. And I think they did a lot of really good things with the new edition. I like technomancers. I like that deckers will now be playable. I like that rigging won't be so exclusive and that non-riggers won't be so totally incompetent at driving - relative to riggers - that the idea will just be more or less laughable. I like what they did with armor and I must say I even like the hard caps on skills and attributes, although I guess I'll only really know when I've played the game for a little while. (I mean: I think there comes a time when everyone reaches a plateau, but I guess that's a matter of playing style. It's fine with me if anyone wants to houserule them away.)

What I don't like is the lack of integration between chargen and in-game improvement, the imbalance between the cost of attributes, skills and specialization, and probably a few other things that I'll only figure out once I have the book.

It's not a matter of driving them out of business or organizing a mutiny against the ship's captain. Maybe, just maybe, though, it is time for a slighly more open process when it comes to updating the mechanics of our beloved game.

(Or maybe I just read too much on Sweedish consumer coops and industrial democracy... nyahnyah.gif)
Triggerz
Hmmm... So, where can I find SR3-revised? I'm curious and I'd like to take a look.
Kagetenshi
The master thread.

Navigation links at the first post of every thread in the project.

~J
Triggerz
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
The master thread.

Navigation links at the first post of every thread in the project.

~J

Thanks! I'll read more of it once my term paper's done. nyahnyah.gif From what I read though, it seems that the problems you address in SR3-R are pretty much the same SR4 tries to address. Well, when I was reading the first page, I couldn't help thinking that a few people on the SR4 team - maybe playtesters? - must have read the ideas there.
Ellery
SR3R was initiated in response to the announcement that SR4 was going to be closer to a new game, rather than a new edition of the old game, wasn't it? I think SR4 was well under playtest--at least internally--before SR3R was started.
Triggerz
Oh! I just meant that the similarities between concerns struck me: making deckers playable, unifying decking and electronic warfare, balancing/fixing rigging, etc.

For the cost of attributes versus skills, anyone has any suggestion on how to fix the issue? As the system is now, it just encourages everyone to max out their attributes (and yes, even with the last point costing 25 BP).
Shadow_Prophet
Wow, lots of discussion while i was sleeping and doing other things along those lines.

Anyways. About the "unballanced" nature of being able to raise attributes faster than skills. I would tend to agree. Looking at it from a purely statistical standpoint I'll probably end up houseruling it towards a karma expendature in line with the current whitwolf systems.

But about raising a attribute over skills and the benifits there in. Yes in one light, game mechanic wise, it does indeed seem like a better idea to max your attributes first because they add dice to multiple pools at a time. No one's going to debate that. However, it doesn't raise the person's actual skill. For example lets say I have a char, who wants to start deckin. I've got a logic of 4 currently, and a computer skill of 1 (note i'm not sure if its still computers or not but for the sake of the example lets assume it is nyahnyah.gif ). Now I could raise my logic, because that would likely raise my pool in a few other skills that i need as well as raising my computer skill. So instead of 5 dice, i'd have 6, giving me a average pool of dice.

Looking at the mechanics straight up. I could probably do things like, program a IC with that, or hack into a decently secure network. Look at it from a realistic standpoint and, while he's got the natural aptitude (the high logic stat not the quality) for programing, he doesn't have the skill to do such things, as illustrated by the low skill. When you actualy think about it that way raising the skill is better. Gives you the same dice pool for that skill BUT it would allow you to do more.

I think thats the biggest hump people are having trouble getting over. In sr3 everythings prety much completely spelled out for you that way. Your stat governs your natural aptitude in the way of allowing you to get a skill up to a certain level without paying out tons of karma. It doesn't quite run the same way with sr4.

If you'd prefer another example to further illustrate my point. Lets take the guy we were just talking about. Lets say he has a logic of 5 and a computers of 1. And lets pair him up with a guy who's logic 3 computers 3. Same dice pool. Now both are in a system and they've both stumbled over this piece of code. For the example we'll say that its equivilent to someone with computers 2 programing it. Thats a bit below the skill level of hacker B, he'd probably easily recognize it as he's past that level of knowledge allready. He's been trained in programing and is a rather competent programer himself. But hacker A has never seen code like that before, much less touched it enough to be able to recognize it, so if I was feeling realy generouse I'd have him roll and there'd be a certain threshold for him to hit to generaly recognize what it might be. Even if he beat the threshold on that roll, he still wouldn't be able to tell you how it worked, or even exactly what it did. He might, might have a general idea about it if he beat the threshold, but his level of knowledge in programing isn't high enough to realy understand the code.

Thats two people with the same dice pool, just different levels in the skill, and how skill realy should affect the game. People are focusing on the attributes right now because skills are caped at 7 max with a certain quality and 6 normaly. Alot of people think that skills are close to meaningless now when you can just raise the attribute to get the same effect across a large number of skills. I invite you to take a look at it from the prespective I'm looking at it from. I've played with this type of system since exalted came out in 2001 (or 2002 I can't remember which). And yes, it did take a bit of getting used to and it took a bit at looking at things to see these things (also might have helped out the cost for raising attributes was rather high which is one of the reasons i'm thinking about houserulling the karma costs to be like the white wolf xp charts) but I think if you give it a chance and try to look at what the stat itself really means character wise, and what the skill means character wise you'll begin to understand what they mean together. Ignore the dice benefits for a moment and just look at what they mean to the character.
Triggerz
What you say makes a whole world of sense. I haven't seen WhiteWolf's advancement charts, but I'm planning on houseruling the costs anyways. What I'd like to come up with though is an easy way of dealing with that type of problem with as few judgement calls on the part of the GM as possible. Ideally, of course, but I guess I *might* be able to develop some common sense if I am forced to use it on a regular basis. We'll see... biggrin.gif
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (Triggerz @ Aug 25 2005, 07:58 AM)
What you say makes a whole world of sense. I haven't seen WhiteWolf's advancement charts, but I'm planning on houseruling the costs anyways. What I'd like to come up with though is an easy way of dealing with that type of problem with as few judgement calls on the part of the GM as possible. Ideally, of course, but I guess I *might* be able to develop some common sense if I am forced to use it on a regular basis.  We'll see... biggrin.gif

Well i just pulled up the chart for exalted. Granted this probably should be slightly modified if only for the reason that well, hey its for exalted, and they have a few more things to sink karma into that mundanes in sr don't have. I'll give the full unadulterated chart here though.
CODE

Trait                                        Cost                                    SR equivilent
Attribute                                  Current rating x 4                      Attributes
Favored or cast ability                   (Current rating x 2) - 1              Unsure
Ability                                   Current rating x 2                     Skills
Essence                                   Current rating x 8                     Closest is Magic
Virtue                                      Current rating x 3*                   None
Willpower                                 Current rating x 2                     None

New Trait                                 Cost                                         SR equivilent
New Ability                               3                                              Skills
New Specialty                           3                                              Specialties
(max 3 per ability)
New Charm                              10(8 if favored or caste)             Adept Powers (?)
New Spell                                 10(8 if Occult is favored or caste)Spells

New Spirit Charm/                    20                                             Unknown
Charm of another exalted

*Raising a virtue after chargen does not increase willpower.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ok thats out of the exalted main book, certain things change on that chart depending on the type of char you're playing. So I'll probably make a few modifications. Anyways, thats it if you want to use that as a reference.

EDIT: Sorry about the crapy formatting don't feel like playing around with it all day but i think you can figure out what goes where smile.gif
Eldritch
QUOTE
SR 4...end?  Or beginning?


Both.

It's the end of Shadowrun as we new it. The mechanics have drastically changed. The setting dramatically different.

SR4 has a very differnt feel to it. It's based on Shadowrun - but much different. It feels different, looks different. Sounds different.

Shamens and Mages - the lines blurred. Spell casting, conjuring - completley reworked. Deckers and riggers combined - Hacking is reborn. A totally wireless wolrd replacing the old.

Beginning; A new game is born. It's not Shadowrun, but it is based on it. I'm not saying the new game sucks - I don't have it yet. Based on what I've picked up here I really don't care for it much. It seems to me dumbed down in some areas, and not very streamlined in others.

Example; mentor spirits - a couple paragraphs (Guessing, I don't have the book) vs. several pages of Totems. Totems were colorful, had interesting backgrounds, and interesting bonues/penalties. Yeah, mentor spirit is a good idea - and interesting edge I'd like to see in SR3, but it shouldn't have replaced totems. So they left out several pages of 'setting flavor' in favor of somthing that does not take up much room at all - seems simple, excepet for the GM/Player that has to work out the details.


Oh well, I'll continue to SR3 it, and wish Fanpro luck on their new endeavor.

hahnsoo
QUOTE (Eldritch)
Example; mentor spirits - a couple paragraphs (Guessing, I don't have the book) vs. several pages of Totems. Totems were colorful, had interesting backgrounds, and interesting bonues/penalties. Yeah, mentor spirit is a good idea - and interesting edge I'd like to see in SR3, but it shouldn't have replaced totems. So they left out several pages of 'setting flavor' in favor of somthing that does not take up much room at all - seems simple, excepet for the GM/Player that has to work out the details.

Erm, actually there are quite a few totems in there, and each have their own description comparable to the one in SR3. There are 19 Mentor Spirits in the SR 4 BBB and only 17 Totems in the SR 3 BBB. There are less Animal Totems, and they include some of the Idols, too. Plus, the descriptions are consistent enough that it is much easier to create a Mentor Spirit than before (because it's +2 to two things, -1 to one thing or a Willpower + Charisma (3) test to avoid doing something). The sections are very comparable, and in the case of the Mentor Spirit, it leaves more avenues open for GMs and players to use.
Eldritch
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Eldritch @ Aug 25 2005, 01:54 PM)
Example;  mentor spirits - a couple paragraphs (Guessing, I don't have the book) vs. several pages of Totems.  Totems were colorful, had interesting backgrounds, and interesting bonues/penalties.    Yeah, mentor spirit is a good idea - and interesting edge I'd like to see in SR3, but it shouldn't have replaced totems.  So they left out several pages of 'setting flavor' in favor of somthing that does not take up much room at all - seems simple, excepet for the GM/Player that has to work out the details.

Erm, actually there are quite a few totems in there, and each have their own description comparable to the one in SR3. There are 19 Mentor Spirits in the SR 4 BBB and only 17 Totems in the SR 3 BBB. There are less Animal Totems, and they include some of the Idols, too. Plus, the descriptions are consistent enough that it is much easier to create a Mentor Spirit than before (because it's +2 to two things, -1 to one thing or a Willpower + Charisma (3) test to avoid doing something). The sections are very comparable, and in the case of the Mentor Spirit, it leaves more avenues open for GMs and players to use.

Well then I retract that example smile.gif


But I still stand by the rest of my "It's a new game after all" statements.

El Ojitos
Open source game mechanics? Are you joking?
Put two typical DS forum users together and you get three opinions on everything. And the willingness to fight for them to the bitter end.
Examples?
If it came down to a decision between the two, what would you favour:
- game speed/accessability or detailed simulation?
- powerful magic or powerful technology?
- application of same base mechanic to every situation or realism?
- room for gm decisions or mechanics that cover every situation?
And these are just general decisions of how and where the game should go. I guess it would get really tricky once we tried to decide on details like the damage code of a hand grenade or the modifier for shooting at running targets.
This has nothing to do with a fork, this is a tree.
SirBedevere
As I mentioned in another post I think that SR4 could well have been called Shadowrun The New Era, Next Generation or some such name. I agree with Eldritch that it's a different game derived from Shadowrun.

I don't think that a discussion of which game is 'better' is useful or particularly valid; SR4 is here and this is the way things are going to be. From what I have heard about SR4 it is a system and background that doesn't appeal to me personally, so I'll continue to use SR3.

I genuinely hope that SR4 is a success as I'm sure that the sourcebooks that FanPro put out in the future will be useful to me. IIRC we have been told that they will be rules light. SR4 just isn't for me.
Kagetenshi
Shadowgeneration.

~J
hahnsoo
Just off-hand, the thing I appreciate about SR4 the most is eliminating two dice mechanic problems:
1. 6's are the same as 7's. Yeah, I know. I've heard all of the house rules to take care of this, the whole justifications of "well, if you add modifiers, then it's different". The 6 = 7 and other multiples of 6 plateaus are still a small demon that plagues SR3.
2. "Even numbers or nothing" You need two successes to stage up damage. You need two successes to stage down damage. You need two (or four or six) successes for just about ANYTHING worthwhile in the game. All of those odd numbers of successes that fall in the cracks mean jack and squat, and over the course of the game, it can really add up. I wasn't even aware of this problem until I was reading through SR4 earlier this week.

I'm not saying that SR4 doesn't have any dice problems (dear god, looking at all the posts about the dice mechanic, this seems to be the key issue for most people on these forums), but it eliminates two problems that plague SR3, both of which are really grandfathered from earlier editions.

I also love the new hacking rules, although to be honest, I think it's only suitable for SR4 play in 2070 rather than SR3's pre-2065 world. The elimination of Open Tests also helps the game, as is a friendly "team-work" mechanic.
Triggerz
QUOTE (El Ojitos)
Open source game mechanics? Are you joking?
Put two typical DS forum users together and you get three opinions on everything. And the willingness to fight for them to the bitter end.
Examples?
If it came down to a decision between the two, what would you favour:
- game speed/accessability or detailed simulation?
- powerful magic or powerful technology?
- application of same base mechanic to every situation or realism?
- room for gm decisions or mechanics that cover every situation?
And these are just general decisions of how and where the game should go. I guess it would get really tricky once we tried to decide on details like the damage code of a hand grenade or the modifier for shooting at running targets.
This has nothing to do with a fork, this is a tree.

Hehe Well, I've always been a bit of an idealist. wink.gif

Seriously, though, I'm pretty sure there are lots of things on which we could get some general agreement. Granted, maybe there would be strong differences of opinion over details such as: "Should attributes be (new rating)x4, x5, or x6?", the price of a specialization, etc. The list goes on and on and never ends. The thing though, is that I think we would pick up more of the stuff that doesn't work and provide more suggestions than a few playtesters could come up with. I'm not saying that playtesters did a bad job. I'm sure they picked up quite a few flaws in the mechanics and suggested fixes and such. I'm just saying that a brilliant opinion could probably get polished a bit more and made into a better, full-fledge mechanic if these things were discussed more openly prior to their release. In the end, the game developers would still make the calls on what they choose to include or not, but they'd have a wider pool not only of comments on stuff that doesn't work as well as it should but also quite a few better-fleshed-out and more playtested options to choose from.

As I said many times before, there's a lot I like about the new edition, but there seems to be a few things that could have been improved upon, the apparent imbalance between the costs of skills and attributes being the one I have the hardest time with at the moment.

On a different topic, is SR4 an entirely new game? In a way, yes. I haven't played much in the last few years and the jump forward in the timeline means that my group's characters will be much closer to a bunch of washed-up runners with old tech than they ever were before. wink.gif To my group and I, I guess our characters are the game in a really big way. They've been around since SR2, and I'm not entirely sure they'll all really feel at home in SR4. Most have a style that is rooted in no small way in some mechanics, gear or ability present in the 3rd edition but that may or may not be there in the 4th. You can't have a cyberarm with strenght higher than 3 without a cybertorso??? (Yeah! What's up with that? Is it really how it is? Bigger, stronger arms for bigger metas too, maybe? Anyways...) That's just gonna completely wreck our decker, Jack, who got his arm chopped off for the express purpose of having a big, shinny, mean cyber one put in place. (He's not really the combat-oriented type. He did it mostly for the intimidation factor. And style. He still has the old one in formaehyde above his fireplace. nyahnyah.gif) I'm obviously going to houserule something to let him keep his big mean arm, for sure. I'll probably have to do the same with quite a few other things the characters in our group have. It might be a rough transition. But you know what? If it integrates Jack better in the action and makes him more fun to play, then SR4 might just be the best thing that ever happened to our Shadowrun group. Is it a new game? Maybe. Are there problems with it? Yes. The big question to me though is: Will we play this new game more often than the old one and will we have at least as much fun? If the answer's yes, then I'll figure out a way to deal with the rest.
apple
Now, a very important question (for me). SR4 promised us:

- easier rules,
- streamlined rules,
- faster rules.

Did Fanpro delivered?

SYL
hahnsoo
QUOTE (Triggerz)
You can't have a cyberarm with strenght higher than 3 without a cybertorso??? (Yeah! What's up with that? Is it really how it is? Bigger, stronger arms for bigger metas too, maybe? Anyways...)

Actually, it's a Strength higher than 6. Cybertorsos are required if you want Strength boost above rating 3, and the cyberarm has a rating 3 Strength base, which makes it a total of 6.
Rev
I won't be getting a book for a few weeks yet (going to thailand!), but so far reading the summaries, examples, and opinions I am liking everything except the possibility that raising skills might be stupid compared to raising attributes. So it sounds like a big win to me. There are piles of problems that have been discussed here for years that they actually did aparrantly fix.

I also happened to talk to a friend about it just recently who had bought sr2, but never played it because the ruleset was so enormous and complicated. Sounds like he is going to give the new edition a look, so it may even help the sales as intended.
Triggerz
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (Triggerz @ Aug 25 2005, 04:38 PM)
You can't have a cyberarm with strenght higher than 3 without a cybertorso??? (Yeah! What's up with that? Is it really how it is? Bigger, stronger arms for bigger metas too, maybe? Anyways...)

Actually, it's a Strength higher than 6. Cybertorsos are required if you want Strength boost above rating 3, and the cyberarm has a rating 3 Strength base, which makes it a total of 6.

hehe Ok, now THAT makes sense! Strength 6 is good enough. Not absolutely amazing, but decent, considering the hard cap on attributes. Do trolls get stronger basic cyberarms or are they blocked at Strength 6 max like everyone else? What about orks?
Rolemodel
mmu1

QUOTE
Even if it was true that high skill had the biggest impact in simple scenarios this would ONLY be a problem IF it didn't have a big enough impact in difficult scenarios - but it does. Even at difficult TNs like 10 or 12, having higher skill gives you a significantly higher chance of success than having a skill of 4.


QUOTE
It's only at impossibly high TNs that it ceases to matter - almost completely - how many dice you have - but that's exactly as if I complained that in SR4, the system breaks down, because at a threshold of 10 or 15, it doesn't really matter whether you have 6 dice or 24 dice - you have virtually no chance of success. It's an argument logically identical to the one you made about SR3 - care to defend it, too?

I've said it before, but the SR3 rules define a TN of 10+ as "nearly impossible." Everyone who's not superhuman should regularly fail at nearly impossible tasks.


Great point, and one that I agree with. One of the strengths of the SR3 system is that due to the exponential (Single die mechanic; f(n)=(6r+1-n)/(6^r), where n = TN, and r=n/6 rounded up to the nearest integer) nature of it's TN system, it very effectively brings to light, as mfb noted, diminishing returns.

However, as previously mentioned, the cost of handling high skills in his manner invokes problems at the entirely opposite end of the spectrum.

QUOTE
You're still refusing to look at "easy" and "difficult" tasks, choosing to look at "easy" and "impossible" instead - because you know that analyzing the former won't support your claims.


Actually, I'll take it a step farther. I'm refusing to look at not only "Easy" and "Difficult" tasks, but I'm refusing to look at anything but the most simple, and the nearly impossible. Why? Because I have never laid claim that third edition shadowrun does not handle itself well inside of a certain scale, and these two polarizations adequately show the proper contrast.

Allow me to quote myself.

QUOTE
No, that's true. An SR3 character with 20 dice is not immune to firing blind, or shooting at a running enemy with partial cover.

Instead, a character rolling 250% of the base dice for a World-Class skill level can do something easy -VERY- well, and something difficult about as well as everyone else.


What effectively I have said, then, is that dice are weighted entirely differently at the bottom end of the scale (Obviously where the exponential aspect has had the least influence on the system), than they are at the top. As a result, highly skilled character's receive the largest bang for their buck at the bottom end, and -that- is where their skills truly shine.

mfb

QUOTE
i'm telling you that not allowing them to succeed against amazing odds every single time they try is realistic, yes. i'm saying that even high-end characters should fail against nearly-impossible odds a goodly portion of the time, but that they should succeed against them far more often than those of lesser ability. you keep trying to make everything binary, where characters either always succeed or always fail. real life is not binary.


Ok, that's fine too. Sounds fantastic. We seem to be butting heads on the nature of what a 'highly skilled character' is, then. Nowhere in my RPG experience has someone that exceeds the human level of performance multiple times over, and over again been anything but (You guessed it!) Superhuman. I have absolutely -zero- problem with characters failing impossible tasks. Or, for that matter, -almost never- accomplishing -nearly impossible- tasks. Ideally, I prefer that.

However, in defense of SR4, the character's brought against it are not just 'highly skilled characters'. We're not talking Sun Tzu, or Babe Ruth here, extraordinary human beings. We're talking individuals that require themselves to be boosted to levels of performance that defy human standards: Cyberware, Magic, etc.

You can't submit, as your argument, that the results of a test should be subjectively 'realistic' when you present an 'unrealistic' scenario. You cannot tell me that someone that lives by the unrealistic rules of magic should be bound by the concrete rules of reality. Real life is not binary, no. But it certainly doesn't use d6's either.

Introducing over-powered characters into a scale designed for normal people will produce poor results. In SR4, it has been argued that this is felt on the top of the scale. In SR3, I counterpoint that the same effect is felt, albeit on the opposite end.

QUOTE
the second part of your paragraph is raving lunacy. you want high-skill characters to regularly succeed against impossible odds, but god forbid that they regularly put down non-moving, non-dodging targets at close range. you are the anti-logic.


Hardly. I believe difficult tasks should be difficult. Simple tasks should be simple. That isn't too much to ask, now, is it? Nowhere have I ever implied that I -want- high-skilled character's to regularly succeed against impossible odds. In fact, if -anything- I've advocated games using much lower skill levels than you propose to be reasonable.

It isn't a matter of skilled character's putting down non-moving, non-dodging target's at close range. It's that they utterly -destroy- them, when not presented with much of a challenge. They can stage an improvised bottle cap into effectively becoming a tactical nuke. At what point do you go: "Dude. You just killed that troll with a ball of aluminum. This is getting ridiculous."


Ellery

QUOTE
it's fine if you set up the problem and let me calculate it.

If the relevant situation is shooting someone who is paying attention and is dodging and has four dice to spend and has an armor jacket resisting a shot from a predator with four body dice, and the key factor is how much damage they take on average, then say so.

If you want me to do it again including dodge and armor and so on, I'll do this--but I want your prediction first regarding what the probabilities will be, and I want your agreement that you will admit that you were wrong if you are wrong. I will admit that I am wrong if I am.


Fair enough. It would be a stubborn demonstration of immaturity for me to reject this offer, particularly when we both have said so much on the subject, and would further be a discredit to either of us, if we were unwilling to admit when we were wrong. With that in mind, I will gladly accept your proposal.

The condition I hold is that I will not be available to start on this project until this weekend, due to constraints I have on my time brought about by my occupation, and I believe that turning this role-playing forum into a math expose is hardly appropriate. You and I can utilize the personal message function, set our terms, and the rules of our model, and then have a go at it as I believe it may, as it already has, created quite a bit of spam. When we come to a conclusion, a statement saying as much can be issued, along with our findings, where appropriate.

My Hypothesis, restated from the beginning will be as follows: Due to the nature of the resolution of effect inside of the probability mechanics of Shadowrun Third edition, the introduction of many dice, over few dice, into the system will hold the highest degree of effect at the lowest end of difficulty; At the opposite end of the spectrum, this observed phenomenon will be minimized.

In closing, please do not read this as: Third Edition is a piece of shit. OR. Third Edition is broken. - What I am saying is that when you model reality on an imperfect die mechanic, you will introduce the opportunity of imperfection. The problem exists in both systems. I argue you cannot overlook one, and point out the other, and still maintain that you hold objectivity as your source, and not mere opinion.

-Rolemodel

EDIT: We can define terms that may be construed as 'vague', as we define the parameters of our model, such as, but not limited to; effect, degree, phenomenon, minimized, etc.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Rolemodel @ Aug 25 2005, 06:03 PM)
I believe that turning this role-playing forum into a math expose is hardly appropriate.

I disagree whole-heartedly. I would encourage you both to leave the discussion here, as it is on-topic, relevant, of interest to other participants, and not personal business. Taking it to PMs is poor etiquette.

~J
mfb
QUOTE (Rolemodel)
You can't submit, as your argument, that the results of a test should be subjectively 'realistic' when you present an 'unrealistic' scenario. You cannot tell me that someone that lives by the unrealistic rules of magic should be bound by the concrete rules of reality. Real life is not binary, no. But it certainly doesn't use d6's either.

actually, i can tell you exactly that. shadowrun is based on extrapolation from reality: what would happen if our world were introduced to magic, then advanced sixty years? in real life, it's hard for even the most skilled shooter to hit something he or she can't see. therefore, in SR, it should also be difficult for even the most skilled shooter to hit something he or she can't see--though it should be much less difficult for someone whose abilities are augmented by magic or cyberware. what you seem to be unable to grasp is that in SR3, people with magic and cyber are way, way better at even the most difficult tasks. that simply doesn't mean that near-impossible tasks become easy.

QUOTE (Rolemodel)
Hardly. I believe difficult tasks should be difficult. Simple tasks should be simple. That isn't too much to ask, now, is it?

again with the raving lunacy. do you understand that "difficult" tasks, in SR4, are not at all difficult because of the way the system is set up? that's the whole point of this discussion--tasks that ought to be difficult for anyone that isn't a character in a comic book are easily accomplished.

QUOTE (Rolemodel)
At what point do you go: "Dude. You just killed that troll with a ball of aluminum. This is getting ridiculous."

and again with the rhetoric that you can't back up. stop making things up that don't exist in either ruleset, then presenting them as evidence.

while we're at it, at what point do you go "dude, you just a headshot on a midget child a half-mile away in complete darkness without using a scope. this is getting ridiculous."
Rolemodel
QUOTE
"dude, you just a headshot on a midget child a half-mile away in complete darkness without using a scope. this is getting ridiculous."


I say that when an adept with a ridiculous amounts of magic packed into their shot pulls off a crazy TN, with all their dice. Because, you know, I'm not trying to justify a scenario where people who's abilities are augmented by 'magic' experience 'reality'.

-RM
Rolemodel
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
QUOTE (Rolemodel @ Aug 25 2005, 06:03 PM)
I believe that turning this role-playing forum into a math expose is hardly appropriate.

I would encourage you both to leave the discussion here, as it is on-topic, relevant, of interest to other participants, and not personal business. Taking it to PMs is poor etiquette.

~J

That's not entirely unreasonable. Perhaps a new thread would be appropriate, then?

-RM
Kagetenshi
That sounds like a fair compromise.

~J
mfb
QUOTE (Rolemodel)
Because, you know, I'm not trying to justify a scenario where people who's abilities are augmented by 'magic' experience 'reality'.

yes. instead, you're trying to justify completely ignoring reality by saying that it's more realistic. you're right, Rolemodel. the impossible should be easy, and the easy should be difficult. woo, look at all the colors!
Rolemodel
QUOTE
That sounds like a fair compromise.


So be it. I'll leave final approval to Ellery, but suspect that given the nature of the offer, he will hold no qualms with the proposition. smile.gif

QUOTE
yes. instead, you're trying to justify completely ignoring reality by saying that it's more realistic. you're right, Rolemodel. the impossible should be easy, and the easy should be difficult. woo, look at all the colors!


Heh.

No, no, my silly marginally-foolish-bystander. In an ideal model, I believe that simple tasks will be performed at levels of marginal difference between the highly skilled, and the averagely skilled, and difficult tasks will show their greatest degree of effectiveness. Naturally, we can still rule that the 'impossible' is, indeed, 'impossible'.

-RM

EDIT: Line edited to include 'averagely skilled' rather than left as open ended comparison.
mfb
you have very odd ideas about reality.
Rolemodel
QUOTE (mfb @ Aug 25 2005, 07:26 PM)
you have very odd ideas about reality.

Really? Here's an example that just struck me. And it directly relates to varying degrees of skill levels, in basic tasks.

Go find someone that can type very quickly. Then go locate someone who cannot. Instruct them both to see who can strike the 'a' key the most amount of times inside of a minute. Please record, and review the results, and report to me with your findings.

-RM

EDIT: Bed-time! w00t!
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