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6thDragon
Looking at the karma costs for raising skills, attributes, and magic stuff it looks like everything costs more. Spells are 5, attributes are x3, I don't remember what skills are, but I think they are higher too. Initiation is a lot more expensive. I guess this could be because of the new caps on the skills. Is the guidelines for giving out karma about the same for SR4?

edit: spelling correction
hahnsoo
In a word, yes. The standard Karma award is still about 5-10 Karma per run.
ankh-le-fixer
I think the karma cost for improving attributes (3x) is FAR too cheap : attributes in the SR4 system are really important, much more than skill (because you can use an attribute with several skills) but cost only slightly upper (2x for skills)

improving agility from 3 to 4 only cost 12 points and you throw 1 additional dice in all combat pool eek.gif (that's only one or two scenarii karma gain)

it s specially weird when comparing with a skill group that cost 5x : how can they justify that???

Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (ankh-le-fixer)
I think the karma cost for improving attributes (3x) is FAR too cheap : attributes in the SR4 system are really important, much more than skill (because you can use an attribute with several skills) but cost only slightly upper (2x for skills)

improving agility from 3 to 4 only cost 12 points and you throw 1 additional dice in all combat pool eek.gif (that's only one or two scenarii karma gain)

it s specially weird when comparing with a skill group that cost 5x : how can they justify that???

In response to that I'll copy what I posted elsewhere in the So Far... thread....

QUOTE

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  ). 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.
Serbitar
Prophet, your point may be valid, BUT, it is not reflected in the rules.

The rules dont care where your dice come from. What you are suggesting is a house rule, not another viewpoint.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (Serbitar)
Prophet, your point may be valid, BUT, it is not reflected in the rules.

The rules dont care where your dice come from. What you are suggesting is a house rule, not another viewpoint.

That is actualy not true.

There are rules about skills and what their effective levels mean. It is not a house rule on what these things mean it is mearly looking at the information on the character sheet and whats in the rulebook and applying it.

I don't need to houserule what a skill at level one means. Its right there in the book.

The GM is the one who decides IF and WHEN you roll. Never forget that. If your GM chooses to ignore what the book states about skills and their relative levels, and doesn't seem to mind not actualy taking a look at how attributes and skills interact game mechanics wise, then yes the rules don't care about where your dice come from.

Hell if you think a guy who's very logical, and smart, but has only been trained in basic and maybe vb can jump right into assembly and machine code and code a operating system from the ground up just because he's smart than good for you. But you won't see me playing with you because thats more along the lines of roll playing instead of roleplaying and just rolling dice doesn't interest me at all, I can go play warhammer or 40k if i wanted that and get about the same results.
Darkness
QUOTE
Prophet, your point may be valid, BUT, it is not reflected in the rules.

The rules dont care where your dice come from. What you are suggesting is a house rule, not another viewpoint.

Not if you look at the definition of the skill levels. You simply have to read more into it than "it gives you one more die".
Serbitar
Skill definitions are not rules, they give you an im pression what the AIM of the rules is to model. The rules themselves dont care where you get your hits from.

Hm, I think I will just house-rule the whole thing: You cannot have more hits than your involved skill. Only 1 hit by defaulting.

No restrictions on general things like the reaction test when beeing shot at or withstanding a spell.
prionic6
What about this Houserule: You can not have more attribute dice than skill dice in a dicepool. I would suspect this got playtested as it is almost the same rule as in sr 3 (e.g. no more combat pool than skill). What were the results?
hahnsoo
I think Shadow_Prophet and Serbitar both have good points.

On p 106, it says:
QUOTE
For many of these situations, gamemasters must rely on their own judgment to decide which skills are needed, determine the situation modifiers, and interpret what it all means.  The following guidelines and rules will help resolve some more common situations

This gives your average GM a lot of leeway in determining the effect of certain rolls and the impact that the numerical value of skills (versus the numerical value of attributes) can have within the game. At the same time, the rules lay down a framework by which your average GM can build their foundation of skill resolution. In the case of not having a skill, aside from the absolute cases of not being able to default, the GM is given the final say in deciding whether or not the character gets to roll at all. I think this sort of philosophy can reasonably extend beyond Rating 0 skills, although this will be something that varies from game to game.

I like the fact that the game can portray a talented neophyte (high attributes, low skills), or a grizzled experienced veteran (high skill, low attributes), or the best of the best (both are high). The concern is that there is a higher emphasis on attributes rather than skills. Given the hard caps on how many attributes you can purchase at character creation, I think this only becomes a key issue later in the game, when the characters have spent Karma to increase their attributes to the maximum levels. One can argue that all versions of SR was like this, though, with the addition of pool dice (which was the way earlier versions of Shadowrun added attributes in a skill roll).

I don't like the fact that the numerical value of skill, under the "GM fiat" method of skill resolution, does not mechanically equate directly to the actual utility of the skill, instead being solely governed by the GM. As a player, I do not want to be told that I can't even attempt a task governed by a skill simply because my skill rating is too low, especially when the rules governing the task are known to me, and mechanically I'd still have a chance at completing that task. It is a tricky issue that needs to be worked out in a consensus of the gaming group. I've never been fond of "Rule Zero", and I don't think the GM should resort to cop-outs in order for everyone to have a good gaming experience.
SL James
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Aug 25 2005, 08:18 AM)
In a word, yes.  The standard Karma award is still about 5-10 Karma per run.

For the team?

Geez. I give out 1-3 karma per character. Any lower and they'd be going backwards.
tisoz
QUOTE (prionic6)
What about this Houserule: You can not have more attribute dice than skill dice in a dicepool. I would suspect this got playtested as it is almost the same rule as in sr 3 (e.g. no more combat pool than skill). What were the results?

That makes converting characters even harder when SR3 has skills linked to Attributes and usually lower than attributes to keep costs down.

Maybe not making it harder to convert, but screwing the convert even more.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (SL James)
QUOTE (hahnsoo @ Aug 25 2005, 08:18 AM)
In a word, yes.  The standard Karma award is still about 5-10 Karma per run.

For the team?

Jesus. I give out 1-3 karma per character. Any lower and they'd be going backwards.

Per person. Karma awards have never been distributed among the team like nuyen. You always have a team award and personal awards, and the team award is a minimum of 1 Karma each (if the runners survived and didn't complete any objectives at all). Assuming you make all of your objectives, and there were some personal awards, you can reasonably see 5-6 Karma per person.
SL James
wha...

Survival doesn't guarantee karma with me. I had two players take out a room full of personal bodyguards and kill a Southeast Asian warlord and disappear with minimal injuries, and they got 2 karma each. They got 3 karma overall for some really good RP before and after the hit, but... Geez, 10?

I mean, I also know a GM who gives out karma like candy (6-12+), but I also don't have any self-respect after playing in his games.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
I think Shadow_Prophet and Serbitar both have good points.

On p 106, it says:
QUOTE
For many of these situations, gamemasters must rely on their own judgment to decide which skills are needed, determine the situation modifiers, and interpret what it all means.† The following guidelines and rules will help resolve some more common situations

This gives your average GM a lot of leeway in determining the effect of certain rolls and the impact that the numerical value of skills (versus the numerical value of attributes) can have within the game. At the same time, the rules lay down a framework by which your average GM can build their foundation of skill resolution. In the case of not having a skill, aside from the absolute cases of not being able to default, the GM is given the final say in deciding whether or not the character gets to roll at all. I think this sort of philosophy can reasonably extend beyond Rating 0 skills, although this will be something that varies from game to game.

I like the fact that the game can portray a talented neophyte (high attributes, low skills), or a grizzled experienced veteran (high skill, low attributes), or the best of the best (both are high). The concern is that there is a higher emphasis on attributes rather than skills. Given the hard caps on how many attributes you can purchase at character creation, I think this only becomes a key issue later in the game, when the characters have spent Karma to increase their attributes to the maximum levels. One can argue that all versions of SR was like this, though, with the addition of pool dice (which was the way earlier versions of Shadowrun added attributes in a skill roll).

I don't like the fact that the numerical value of skill, under the "GM fiat" method of skill resolution, does not mechanically equate directly to the actual utility of the skill, instead being solely governed by the GM. As a player, I do not want to be told that I can't even attempt a task governed by a skill simply because my skill rating is too low, especially when the rules governing the task are known to me, and mechanically I'd still have a chance at completing that task. It is a tricky issue that needs to be worked out in a consensus of the gaming group. I've never been fond of "Rule Zero", and I don't think the GM should resort to cop-outs in order for everyone to have a good gaming experience.

Your last point makes alot of sense. Thats kinda why I put in there the idea of the threshold roll in the second example where i compared two people with the same dice pool. He'd be able to gain some insight, but just doesn't quite have enough knowledge in the area to get the same effect as the other guy who's more highly trained. But your point is well noted sir.
tisoz
Like it was stated earlier, karma awards look the same as they did in SR3. But for you dense guys wink.gif,

Character survived the adventure - 1
Character fulfilled most (2/3) objectives - 1
adventure was extra challenging - 1
Character was particularly brave or smart - 1 or 2
Good roleplaying - 1 or 2
Character pushed the storyline forward - 1
Character had the right skills at the right place and time - 1
Player impressed group with humor or drama - 1 or 2
hahnsoo
QUOTE (SL James)
wha...

Survival doesn't guarantee karma with me. I had two players take out a room full of personal bodyguards and kill a Southeast Asian warlord and disappear with minimal injuries, and they got 2 karma each. They got 3 karma overall for some really good RP before and after the hit, but... Geez, 10?

I mean, I also know a GM who gives out karma like candy (6-12+), but I also don't have any self-respect after playing in his games.

According to the rules, Survival gives 1 Karma. That's the way it's always has been. Completing objectives gives 1 Karma (or more, in SR2/3). 10 is highly unusual (it would mean getting every single award on the table), and SR4 says that no GM should probably give out more Karma than that. If a run goes well, all the objectives are achieved, folks were in the right place, right time, RP awards given, then 5 points is not unreasonable, 7 may be pushing it, and 10 only after the best run a particular player has ever done.

The average Karma award for our games is 4, and that's if we do well. We've had 1 Karma for survival before.
SFEley
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet)
QUOTE

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.

So what you're saying is, the only good reason to raise Skills instead of Attributes is because the GM might decide to give you better options in storytelling.

Now I'm a storytelling kind of guy, but that strikes me as broken. The majority of tests aren't going to be attempting new or challenging things; they're going to involve shooting someone, or casting the same manabolt they've cast a thousand times before. In a test like that where there really isn't much depth beyond the dice roll, it will always make sense to favor the attribute, unless the GM's going to decide something arbitrary and stupid like, "I'm sorry, your Pistols 1 training never covered targets who were running. I'm not going to let you shoot him."

Even in the example you use, players have way too much leverage to appeal. "But look how Logical I am! I may not have the experience, but shouldn't I have a chance to hack the system just by breaking it down piece-by-piece into steps I already know and interpolating the new data? No? Oh, okay. ...Why not?"

GMs need to have latitude, but that latitude always ought to be grounded in the mechanics of the game. If the game mechanics say "GMs should use their latitude" in something so fundamental, that bodes poorly for game consistency and player satisfaction.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (tisoz)
Character survived the adventure - 1
Character fulfilled most (2/3) objectives - 1
adventure was extra challenging - 1
Character was particularly brave or smart - 1 or 2
Good roleplaying - 1 or 2
Character pushed the storyline forward - 1
Character had the right skills at the right place and time - 1
Player impressed group with humor or drama - 1 or 2

For comparison, SR3 Karma Awards (p243-244):
Team Awards:
* Survival: 1 point
* Completing Objectives: 1-2 points
* Threat: 1-2 points
Individual Awards:
* Good roleplaying: Award 1 Karma Point to players who mostly stayed in character. Excellent roleplaying is worth 2 Karma Points. The standards for good roleplaying will depend on how a gamemaster and his or her group like to play. Be flexible, however. Shadowrun is supposed to be fun, not a course in method acting.
* Guts: Brave and/or effective fighters should get a point of Karma, two if they are particularly heroic. (Stupidly brave fighters donít earn this award. Survival is its own reward, should they be so lucky.) Actions that might merit this award include gutsy magical battles in astral space and hard-fought combat in the Matrix as well as shoot-íem-ups in the physical world.
* Smarts: Players whose characters come up with a clever strategy, solve a puzzling clue or pull off a good scam should get at least 1 point of Karma. This award also goes to characters smart enough to know when to surrender or run.
* Motivation: Players whose characters really drive the storyline forward, or who are continously motivated to resolve problems and find solutions may be deserving of 1 Karma point. Characters who start plotlines on their own accord, instead of awaiting the gamemaster to drop something in their lap, are particularly deserving.
* Right place/right time: Characters who are in the right place, with the right skill to do some necessary job, should get 1 point of Karma. However, donít award Karma just for making good dice rolls. The award should go to a character who has a vital skill and knows when to use it. The character should not have known in advance that she would need the skill. If the players knew that they would need to pick a lock and so had a character slot the Lockpicking Skill beforehand, a Karma award is unmerited. If the team got trapped in a dead-end alley with the bad guys closing in, and one of them just happened to spot an old doorway and picked the lock under fire so the team could escapeówell, thatís different story.
* Surprise: A surprising and effective strategy is worth a Karma Point to the player who comes up with it. Ideas or actions that foil a gamemasterís well-laid plans should be rewarded.
* Humor and drama: A player who paralyzes the entire gaming group with laughter while acting in character should get 1 Karma Point. We are in this for fun, after all. Likewise, if a player acting in character impresses the group with a particular piece of high drama (or melodrama), he or she should earn a point of Karma.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (SFEley)
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet)
QUOTE

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.

So what you're saying is, the only good reason to raise Skills instead of Attributes is because the GM might decide to give you better options in storytelling.

Now I'm a storytelling kind of guy, but that strikes me as broken. The majority of tests aren't going to be attempting new or challenging things; they're going to involve shooting someone, or casting the same manabolt they've cast a thousand times before. In a test like that where there really isn't much depth beyond the dice roll, it will always make sense to favor the attribute, unless the GM's going to decide something arbitrary and stupid like, "I'm sorry, your Pistols 1 training never covered targets who were running. I'm not going to let you shoot him."

Even in the example you use, players have way too much leverage to appeal. "But look how Logical I am! I may not have the experience, but shouldn't I have a chance to hack the system just by breaking it down piece-by-piece into steps I already know and interpolating the new data? No? Oh, okay. ...Why not?"

GMs need to have latitude, but that latitude always ought to be grounded in the mechanics of the game. If the game mechanics say "GMs should use their latitude" in something so fundamental, that bodes poorly for game consistency and player satisfaction.

I'm sorry you feel that way. But this brings things back to roll playing.

Anyways, your example about combat. Let me come up with a example of when i might say, no you're not skilled enough to take the shot, or possibly make it a threshold roll to allow for minimal success/pure luck. His target is at long range and has cover and its poor lighting so the pc knows where he is, but can just barely see him. My response to the pc would be, you don't realy have the experiance to make that shot. If he insists on making the roll, i give him the apropriate modifiers and give him a threshold depending on what his dicepool looks like after the modifiers.

The hacking example, my response to that is simply you're very logical yes. You've broken it down into multiple steps. However some of this code and security you've never seen before, heck you don't even know where to start. If you realy want to try to screw around with it you could try, but logic is telling you this is way out of your league.

As for the GM's lattitude haveing to be grounded in the mechanics, I would say that thats not correct. The GM's lattitude is grounded in the game and in making the game enjoyable to ALL parties. Thats where it has always been grounded. Its the first rule ushualy for GM's. "These rules are only a guide, if a rule will bog down the game or make things ufair/fun, you can choose to ignore or change it if it will benifit your game." Or something along those lines.

mintcar
If attempting a task that you do not have the knowledge to preform, you should have the threshold raised. The increase could be countered by having the information handy as a manual or in headware. A difficulty is determined by the task itself AND by the condition of the person attempting it. If the GM decides the character has never attempted it before because of a low skill value, the GM should raise the difficulty. If this is enforced frequently the use of having high skill values becomes very obvious when attempting complicated things.


<<edit>> a bit to late there maybe
SL James
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
QUOTE (SL James @ Aug 25 2005, 10:30 AM)
wha...

Survival doesn't guarantee karma with me. I had two players take out a room full of personal bodyguards and kill a Southeast Asian warlord and disappear with minimal injuries, and they got 2 karma each. They got 3 karma overall for some really good RP before and after the hit, but... Geez, 10?

I mean, I also know a GM who gives out karma like candy (6-12+), but I also don't have any self-respect after playing in his games.

According to the rules, Survival gives 1 Karma. That's the way it's always has been. Completing objectives gives 1 Karma (or more, in SR2/3). 10 is highly unusual (it would mean getting every single award on the table), and SR4 says that no GM should probably give out more Karma than that. If a run goes well, all the objectives are achieved, folks were in the right place, right time, RP awards given, then 5 points is not unreasonable, 7 may be pushing it, and 10 only after the best run a particular player has ever done.

The average Karma award for our games is 4, and that's if we do well. We've had 1 Karma for survival before.

I guess we're just different that way. I don't see survival as any more impressive than keeping in-character.
mmu1
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet @ Aug 25 2005, 12:02 PM)
Anyways, your example about combat.  Let me come up with a example of when i might say, no you're not skilled enough to take the shot, or possibly make it a threshold roll to allow for minimal success/pure luck.  His target is at long range and has cover and its poor lighting so the pc knows where he is, but can just barely see him.  My response to the pc would be, you don't realy have the experiance to make that shot.  If he insists on making the roll, i give him the apropriate modifiers and give him a threshold depending on what his dicepool looks like after the modifiers.

Is that ever going to work both ways?

Because I can see plenty of situations in which you'd be justified in saying to a player "Nah, I'm not going to let you roll - true, you've got a lot of experience and your technique is great, but you're too slow, old and fat to be able to apply it well in a combat as chaotic as this anymore."
hahnsoo
QUOTE (SL James)
I guess we're just different that way. I don't see survival as any more impressive than keeping in-character.

It's okay to have House Rules, as long as you recognize them as such when it pertains to discussions with the community as a whole. Everyone has their own House Rules, but we all by necessity have to use the Base Rules as a common ground for discussion.
SL James
Of course.

This just comes from an expectation that karma awards would be reduced in this edition compared to Third, which I assumed would actually make my awards more "normal".

I also maintain pretty high standards for everything not survival or completion. In all my years of GMing Shadowrun, I've given out the humor karma award once. I don't think I've ever given out the guts or right place, right time awards.
booklord
As a big time House Ruler ( who is trying to get this game to work more like SR3 ) I've given the situation with skills and attributes a far amount of thought. I had to split the skills up because some of them enhanced natural abilities while others enhanced knowledge based abilties.

Natural Ability enhancing skills ( Skill+Attibute)
--------------------------------
Perception
Athletics
Dodge

Learned Ability Enhancing Skills
SKILL + MIN( MAX(SKILL, ATTRIBUTE/2 (round up)) ,ATTRIBUTE ))
--------------------------------
Blades
Pistol
Stealth

Knowledge Based Mental Skills
(SKILL + MIN( SKILL, ATTRIBUTE ))
--------------------------------
Biotech
Electronics

Notes: All character sheets must have the skill name, skill level and dice rolled when combined with attribute.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (mmu1)
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet @ Aug 25 2005, 12:02 PM)
Anyways, your example about combat.† Let me come up with a example of when i might say, no you're not skilled enough to take the shot, or possibly make it a threshold roll to allow for minimal success/pure luck.† His target is at long range and has cover and its poor lighting so the pc knows where he is, but can just barely see him.† My response to the pc would be, you don't realy have the experiance to make that shot.† If he insists on making the roll, i give him the apropriate modifiers and give him a threshold depending on what his dicepool looks like after the modifiers.

Is that ever going to work both ways?

Because I can see plenty of situations in which you'd be justified in saying to a player "Nah, I'm not going to let you roll - true, you've got a lot of experience and your technique is great, but you're too slow, old and fat to be able to apply it well in a combat as chaotic as this anymore."

Will it go both ways?

I'm not 100% sure what you're getting at.

I believe what you're saying is will i go the same way with the attributes like i did the skills. Ie if they don't have a high enough attribute would i stop them from making a roll. Let me give a example of say someone with str 2 jumps and doesn't quite make it to the other side but manages to grab onto the ledge. He can hold him and his gear there, but I would rule he wouldn't have the strength alone to pull himself up with his gear.

I'm not sure if thats what you were looking for but...
Stormdrake
I agree with mintcar on the attributes / skills. The idea that a novice with high attributes but little skill can do the same as a experienced individual with high skills but avg attributes seems wrong. So increasing the number of successes for the novice to pull it off seems pretty reasonable while not making it totaly impossible. Allows for those flashes of brilliance from the novice that make others look at them and go "He's something special, lets recruit him".
tisoz
QUOTE (SL James @ Aug 25 2005, 10:13 AM)
Of course.

This just comes from an expectation that karma awards would be reduced in this edition compared to Third, which I assumed would actually make my awards more "normal".

I also maintain pretty high standards for everything not survival or completion. In all my years of GMing Shadowrun, I've given out the humor karma award once. I don't think I've ever given out the guts or right place, right time awards.

Karma kind of did get reduced in that things seem to cost more to get or raise.

Too bad to hear there is little humor in your games.wink.gif My rule of thumb is an on the spot karma award for making the entire group burst into laughter, probably another at the end if they were totally in character. I like having fun.

Concerning the attribute vs skill: the incompetance quality gives a skill of "no rating", which is less than 0.

Rating 0 is the baseline of knowledge held by society. It is not incompetance it is the standard level of untrained knowledge held by any Joe Average. The firearms example is: point the barrel, pull the trigger. For vehicles it is a driver license.
Sharaloth
QUOTE (SL James)
wha...

Survival doesn't guarantee karma with me. I had two players take out a room full of personal bodyguards and kill a Southeast Asian warlord and disappear with minimal injuries, and they got 2 karma each. They got 3 karma overall for some really good RP before and after the hit, but... Geez, 10?

I mean, I also know a GM who gives out karma like candy (6-12+), but I also don't have any self-respect after playing in his games.

As always, it depends on the players and the GM, and what type of game they have fun playing. Ya see, I'm one of those 'karma like candy' GM's with my current game, and have been a 'karma? For getting out alive? Count your blessings chummer but don't come to me asking for more' GM in the past. To illustrate, you say 6-12 is giving out karma like candy? I'm regularly handing out 30 Karma per run, and that can climb up to 80 with some difficult runs. I've also given 0 (zero) karma in a different game for a run that went horribly, horribly wrong due to player incompetence (that is, the one who survived got nothing, the rest got dead or experimented on).

You don't have to follow the rules in the book, they're just guidelines set up to keep things in a certain reasonable range. You can feel free to hand out Karma in miniscule doses, and I can feel free to pour it on my players like rain in a seattle wet month. Usually, people are going to follow the book guidelines, because it's easier that way.
tisoz
QUOTE (Stormdrake @ Aug 25 2005, 10:31 AM)
I agree with mintcar on the attributes / skills.  The idea that a novice with high attributes but little skill can do the same as a experienced individual with high skills but avg attributes seems wrong.  So increasing the number of successes for the novice to pull it off seems pretty reasonable while not making it totaly impossible.  Allows for those flashes of brilliance from the novice that make others look at them and go "He's something special, lets recruit him".

I disagree. Think of a natural athlete. Or the student that gets great grades but never has to study.

I just went to a high school reunion and the valedictorian was telling me how much he envied me because he had to study hard to grasp anything (low attribute high skill) and I just picked it up.

Think of basketball, and how recruiters and draft personnel go after quickness and height. The saying is you can learn skills, you can't teach being tall (or quick). In those cases the white guy, like Steve Alford, who has a ton of skill, but may not have the attribute, is going to sit on the bench in the NBA. A guy like Pete Rose would probably have a terrible time breaking into the major leagues today, his skill wouldn't matter because he's a slow white guy.

Joe Montana is an example of high skill and decent attributes when he was at his peak. High skill alone didn't keep him from getting put out to pasture by younger guys with higher attributes and less skill.
Cheops
I love how a lot of people haven't even seen the book yet or played any games and they are already house ruling it. Isn't SR4 supposed to be streamlined and to take away the need to house rule everything in it to play?

Haven't you people who think attributes shouldn't make up for knowledge and skill heard of a little mechanic in SR called Knowledge Skills? I may only have Computers 1, Logic 5 but I have IC Programs 6 as a knowledge skill. Or heck even the knowledge skill at 3 and then I know as much about IC as that guy with 3 computers. A nice, easy way to get around your little problem without having to house rule.

I tend to agree with Tisoz. Natural ability makes up a large portion of someone's ability. If someone only has average height and speed no amount of skill is ever going to make them better than the taller faster guy who can also learn the skill. It'd be like saying a monkey with Logic 1 and Physics 7 should be better at the Theory of Relativity than Einstein with Logic 6 and Physics 3. That doesn't make sense.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (Cheops @ Aug 25 2005, 12:22 PM)
I love how a lot of people haven't even seen the book yet or played any games and they are already house ruling it.  Isn't SR4 supposed to be streamlined and to take away the need to house rule everything in it to play?

Haven't you people who think attributes shouldn't make up for knowledge and skill heard of a little mechanic in SR called Knowledge Skills?  I may only have Computers 1, Logic 5 but I have IC Programs 6 as a knowledge skill.  Or heck even the knowledge skill at 3 and then I know as much about IC as that guy with 3 computers.  A nice, easy way to get around your little problem without having to house rule.

I tend to agree with Tisoz.  Natural ability makes up a large portion of someone's ability.  If someone only has average height and speed no amount of skill is ever going to make them better than the taller faster guy who can also learn the skill.  It'd be like saying a monkey with Logic 1 and Physics 7 should be better at the Theory of Relativity than Einstein with Logic 6 and Physics 3.  That doesn't make sense.

Knowledge skills are great for that yes. But again reading too much into a simple example designed specificaly to demonstrate a point.

The only thing I'm thinking of house ruling is the karma costs of a couple of things.

There are other people who intend to house rule the entire eddition to make it more like sr3. Thats something I don't intend to do.

EDIT: I agree natural ability makes up a great deal fo someones ability. However his example about not needing to study to get things, he still had to learn the information. He didn't just because he was smart, know calculus. he didn't just because he was smart, know all of c++, or assembly. he still had to learn things. Still had to be given the material to be learned. So for something like the computer skill, i would argue that skill is as important as the attribute, if not more. I consider myself prety smart, didn't have to study at all, but as a programer if you suddently gave me cobol, something i've never touched or read about, just because i'm smart doesn't mean i can dish out a complicated program in it suddently, or find a flaw in its code to exploit. I'd have to spend time studying it and learning cobol before i did it. Physical things though yes, I can see where one could aruge that physical aptitude is the larger player there.
tisoz
QUOTE (Cheops)
I love how a lot of people haven't even seen the book yet or played any games and they are already house ruling it. Isn't SR4 supposed to be streamlined and to take away the need to house rule everything in it to play?

I thought it was just to make play quicker, and make it easier to learn the system. Neither of those lend themselves to covering every situation.
booklord
QUOTE
I love how a lot of people haven't even seen the book yet or played any games and they are already house ruling it. Isn't SR4 supposed to be streamlined and to take away the need to house rule everything in it to play?



I like that SR4 is going to a number of dies rolled system from a target number system.

I like that SR4 is trying to get rid of the spell Force.



I dislike how it has become almost impossible to fully resist damage.

I dislike how it is extremely hard to down a low level opponent in one shot without resorting to physical damage drain spells or

I dislike that the game made fundamental concept changes when it came to different types of magicians and spirits.

I really dislike that skill successes can still be done on a regular basis even if the character is suffering from a boatload of negative modifiers.

I dislike that attributes are now way, way more important than skills. Sometimes to the point of lunacy.

I'm falling under the belief that edge at extreme levels is seriously over-powered. And some edge abilities like the ability to go first no matter what is rolled really rubs me the wrong way.

I'm going to be converting some SR3 characters. Some of which no rules exist yet in SR4.



Of course I'm going to house rule this book. They didn't make the rules that much better. They took it from one extreme to another extreme.
tisoz
QUOTE (booklord @ Aug 25 2005, 11:46 AM)
I'm falling under the belief that edge at extreme levels is seriously over-powered.  And some edge abilities like the ability to go first no matter what is rolled really rubs me the wrong way.

How can you get extreme levels of edge? The maximum edge is a human with the Lucky Quality. It would cost him 40 BP + 20 BP + 25 BP to do so. That's 85 BP. For a metehuman it would be level 7.

If 1 guy uses edge to go first, it doesn't prohibit everyone from using edge to nullify the tactic.

I was attempting to make a magician and edge is something I decided to go without, there are too many thing that can be used for the majority of rolls, instead of an attribute that gets used up until the GM decides to let it refresh.

Maybe I don't see edge being that big a deal because I didn't use karma pool that often.
6thDragon
If they took giving karma based on "threat" like in SR3 that will also reduce the amount of karma given out in gameplay. I averaged between 5 and 9 during the sessions I've run. The record I've earned as a player was 27, but I would never give that out as a GM. The GM, in that case, gave a large karma award to the two characters (out of 11) that survived an intentional deathtrap run. Although he strongly hinted at this and most players took very experienced characters out of retirement for that run. I'm also a big fan of giving more karma out if the run takes several sessions. Like giving the roleplaying award out on a per-night basis.
I've seen the guts award given out a time or two when it was deserved, and the humor award given out once last month. One of our players made a comment about a talismonger shop being called "Home O' Fetishes", which resulted in the entire table laughing their asses off.
hahnsoo
QUOTE (booklord)
I dislike how it is extremely hard to down a low level opponent in one shot without resorting to physical damage drain spells or

Erm, and how do you know this, without playing the game? A taser or Stick-and-Shock round (6S electrical damage) does wonders in knocking out opponents quickly and easily (in my test rolls, I am getting a consistent one-hit KO with both). And overcasting is not "resorting" to Physical Drain... in all but the most extreme Drain cases (Force > 9), you'll take no drain whatsoever with Stun Bolt.
Cain
QUOTE
I agree natural ability makes up a great deal fo someones ability. However his example about not needing to study to get things, he still had to learn the information. He didn't just because he was smart, know calculus. he didn't just because he was smart, know all of c++, or assembly. he still had to learn things.

Yes, *but*, he didn't have to learn as much/put in as much effort into learning the skill. That's why he can have an effective Skill of 1, and still be as effective as someone with a skill of 4. What you're describing isn't a skill of 1-- you're describing a skill of 0, which is covered under the Defaulting rules.

That's why tossing in arbitrary threshold modifiers for low skill levels stikes me as a bad move. They are equally capable, and they have studied the skill; they just didn't need to study as hard-- which is reflected in the lower skill level.

Karma Costs: I tend to hand out 4-5 Karma per adventure, scaled for threat, intensity, and player performance. I'll hand out more-or-less depending on the circumstances. My personal record was when I handed out 60 karma; but that was for completing the entirety of Harlequin's Back.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (booklord)
QUOTE
I love how a lot of people haven't even seen the book yet or played any games and they are already house ruling it. Isn't SR4 supposed to be streamlined and to take away the need to house rule everything in it to play?



I like that SR4 is going to a number of dies rolled system from a target number system.

I like that SR4 is trying to get rid of the spell Force.



1.) I dislike how it has become almost impossible to fully resist damage.

2.) I dislike how it is extremely hard to down a low level opponent in one shot without resorting to physical damage drain spells or

3.) I dislike that the game made fundamental concept changes when it came to different types of magicians and spirits.

4.) I really dislike that skill successes can still be done on a regular basis even if the character is suffering from a boatload of negative modifiers.

5.) I dislike that attributes are now way, way more important than skills. Sometimes to the point of lunacy.

6.) I'm falling under the belief that edge at extreme levels is seriously over-powered. And some edge abilities like the ability to go first no matter what is rolled really rubs me the wrong way.

7.) I'm going to be converting some SR3 characters. Some of which no rules exist yet in SR4.



Of course I'm going to house rule this book. They didn't make the rules that much better. They took it from one extreme to another extreme.

I numbered you're points for reference btw.

1.) Thinking about that reasonably. The idea of completely resisting damage is rather insane. They scored the hit, your armor modifies it. In the real world you get broken ribs. There are reasons you know that despite wearing full body armor people still die from gunshots to the chest right?

2.) If you mean completely kill them. Meh you'll have to actualy see how this plays out in your game. And it realy depends on what you mean by low level oponent. If you mean take them out of action, if you're still a competent GM, it shouldn't be much different than from sr3 in when they surrender and such since the average guy has the same number of boxes.

3.) Meh. Thats a matter of opinion and preference that I'm not overly prepared to debate since I don't have the book to realy read up on things and theres not enough here in the forums for me to make a decent point.

4.) You could always apply threshold. But this is also why once i get the pdf i'm handing out the sample chars and going through a sample run to see how things play out and how the dynamic plays out before i have people make their own chars.

5.) They are if you let them. I've described my views on them and others have discussed how they play out and such above. So I'll just refer you to the previous discussion.

6.) I'm going to take a guess that you don't think the ol karma pool (or as I've come to refer to it, the 'invincibility pool') is broken at all so i'm not going to realy debate that.

7.) They have stated that SR3 -> SR4 conversion rules will be posted on the shadowrun website, but not printed in the book. I imagine they'll come out when the printed book hits the shelves.
mmu1
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet)
1.) Thinking about that reasonably. The idea of completely resisting damage is rather insane. They scored the hit, your armor modifies it. In the real world you get broken ribs. There are reasons you know that despite wearing full body armor people still die from gunshots to the chest right?

It most certainly is not insane. For every instance I've seen (in combat accounts, and so on) of people being disabled by non-penetrating hits on body armor, there are dozens of instances of people barely even being aware of getting hit or only realizing it when they were taking the armor off.

Which shouldn't exactly be surprising when you realize how often people get hit in areas not protected by body armor, and not notice until the adrenaline wears off.

I don't feel like looking for it, but I recently posted a link to a video showing an Army medic in Iraq get hit in his chest armor by a sniper's bullet, fall down, get up in 2-3 seconds and run behind cover with his gun at the ready, and be in good enough shape to then move on to chase the shooter down, and provide him with first aid when it turned out he was wounded.

In contrast, I don't think I've ever seen a story on someone dying from a gunshot to the chest stopped by body armor.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (Cain)
QUOTE
I agree natural ability makes up a great deal fo someones ability. However his example about not needing to study to get things, he still had to learn the information. He didn't just because he was smart, know calculus. he didn't just because he was smart, know all of c++, or assembly. he still had to learn things.

Yes, *but*, he didn't have to learn as much/put in as much effort into learning the skill. That's why he can have an effective Skill of 1, and still be as effective as someone with a skill of 4. What you're describing isn't a skill of 1-- you're describing a skill of 0, which is covered under the Defaulting rules.

That's why tossing in arbitrary threshold modifiers for low skill levels stikes me as a bad move. They are equally capable, and they have studied the skill; they just didn't need to study as hard-- which is reflected in the lower skill level.

...

I'm going to come out and say that I completely disagree with that. I can be trained in programing and still not know say...c++. Theres a lot of programers out there that are very intelligent, that program in VB6 (though just cause of that one might question their intelligence wink.gif ). If you sit that extreamly intelligent and trained individual down infront of a C++ program, he's going to look at you funny and tell you he doesn't know how that stuff works. Thus he's intelligent, has trianing but doesn't have enough training say to work C++. Certainly it wouldn't take him as long to learn or put as much into learning it. That could be granted with lower karma cost for the skill, maybe even bonus karma just to spend on that skill or even just reduced training times.

Now before you go off and say well all thats covered in knowledge skills let me go over the example again this time using knowledge skills. We have a logic 5 computers 1 hacker with a knowledge skill of Security software 5 (lets make him very knowledgeable in that field). Now he's trying to hack the same system. He has effectively 6 dice to do this with (the average dicepool). First thing I'd consider is, what does his knowledge skill tell him. Ok lets say this time he's familiar with the way the security on the place is set up. He's doing better than lastime. He knows atleast how its set up, so lets give him a positive modifier of 1 die (up to 7 in his pool). But while he's familiar with the way its set up, its set up at a much higher level than he's realy ever learned to program using techniques he's never seen before. Now lets look at what logic tells him. To me Logic would say, alright you know how its set up but alot of this stuff you've never seen before and don't know how it will actualy respond, but in knowing the general set up you might have a chance. Being that he's low skilled, and lets say we want to give him a slim chance at succes -5 penalty to his pool (down to 2 in his pool). Minimal chance of success, but also a large chance of screwing up.

-5 to his dice pool? I bet thats what you're asking about now. Why -5? Natural Learning ability gets you only so far. To me its what allows him to even make the test. Effectively he gets the bonus die i gave him due to his familiarity, and his 1 in computers. His Logic stat is locked up trying to figure out things he's never seen before and isn't just there to help him overpower the system.

Thats my take on things, and how I'll be running things in relation to knowledge skills and such. Sheer natural ability is no replacement for experiance in certain area's.
6thDragon
QUOTE (mmu1)

In contrast, I don't think I've ever seen a story on someone dying from a gunshot to the chest stopped by body armor.

If you take a 12 gauge slug to the chest it doesn't matter what armor you have on, you're going to feel it. And probably the shock, broken bones, and internal bleeding will probably kill you (not instantly) without penetrating the armor. I'll admit with the SAPI plates we used in Iraq, you could probably walk away. With armor that is more commonly worn you'd probably die.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (mmu1)
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet @ Aug 25 2005, 02:05 PM)
1.)  Thinking about that reasonably.  The idea of completely resisting damage is rather insane.  They scored the hit, your armor modifies it.  In the real world you get broken ribs.  There are reasons you know that despite wearing full body armor people still die from gunshots to the chest right?

It most certainly is not insane. For every instance I've seen (in combat accounts, and so on) of people being disabled by non-penetrating hits on body armor, there are dozens of instances of people barely even being aware of getting hit or only realizing it when they were taking the armor off.

Which shouldn't exactly be surprising when you realize how often people get hit in areas not protected by body armor, and not notice until the adrenaline wears off.

I don't feel like looking for it, but I recently posted a link to a video showing an Army medic in Iraq get hit in his chest armor by a sniper's bullet, fall down, get up in 2-3 seconds and run behind cover with his gun at the ready, and be in good enough shape to then move on to chase the shooter down, and provide him with first aid when it turned out he was wounded.

In contrast, I don't think I've ever seen a story on someone dying from a gunshot to the chest stopped by body armor.

Right. What round was the medic hit by to begin with?

Yes people can shrug off things like 9mm rounds. Thats why they weren't effective in callifornia against the guys in full body armor. I'm not talking about just light pistol rounds. Getting shot with a 45 in the chest while wearing body armor, -will- hurt you. I have friends who have had this happen in training, so they got used to getting hit while wearing body armor. Its not a pleasent experiance from what they've told me. Furthermore I've seen, in sr3 a ork adept, ignore...ignore sir, ex ex rounds fired from a HMG. Partialy to blame was the fact that he had tons of kp for his being around, but in what way would you find that realistic.

And as for the not realizing they were wounded till after the fight, they were still wounded. SR3 had no way to show this without the use of bioware. So a system where you don't take a penalty till the 3rd box, and it harder to completely resist damage isn't realy that broken when you think about things like that.
mmu1
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet)
Right. What round was the medic hit by to begin with?

Yes people can shrug off things like 9mm rounds. Thats why they weren't effective in callifornia against the guys in full body armor. I'm not talking about just light pistol rounds. Getting shot with a 45 in the chest while wearing body armor, -will- hurt you. I have friends who have had this happen in training, so they got used to getting hit while wearing body armor. Its not a pleasent experiance from what they've told me.

1. 9mm and .45 pistol rounds generally have almost the same kinetic energy, which means that if you can shrug off one, you can shrug off the other. They behave slightly differently in tissue, but that's irrelevant if they're stopped by armor.

2. Umm... Getting hit by .45 rounds in training? When, where, doing what? No offense meant, but given the info so far, and this being the internet, I simply don't believe it.

3. What round he got hit with? I'd assume 7.62mm rifle round or something close to it since it was a sniper's round, but even a 5.45mm from an AK-74 has several times the kinetic energy of a 9mm or .45 pistol round. It sure as hell wasn't a pistol round.
Shadow_Prophet
QUOTE (mmu1)
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet @ Aug 25 2005, 02:36 PM)
Right.  What round was the medic hit by to begin with?

Yes people can shrug off things like 9mm rounds.  Thats why they weren't effective in callifornia against the guys in full body armor.  I'm not talking about just light pistol rounds.  Getting shot with a 45 in the chest while wearing body armor, -will- hurt you.  I have friends who have had this happen in training, so they got used to getting hit while wearing body armor.  Its not a pleasent experiance from what they've told me.

1. 9mm and .45 pistol rounds generally have almost the same kinetic energy, which means that if you can shrug off one, you can shrug off the other. They behave slightly differently in tissue, but that's irrelevant if they're stopped by armor.

2. Umm... Getting hit by .45 rounds in training? When, where, doing what? No offense meant, but given the info so far, and this being the internet, I simply don't believe it.

3. What round he got hit with? I'd assume 7.62mm rifle round or something close to it since it was a sniper's round, but even a 5.45mm from an AK-74 has several times the kinetic energy of a 9mm or .45 pistol round. It sure as hell wasn't a pistol round.

9mm and 45 cal do not have the same kenetic force to start off with.

I'm not sure if it was 45's but it was durring my friends MP training I believe.

As for what he got hit by. If he did indeed get hit by either of the rounds you said he probably did. Just because he was able to get up durring the middle of combat and still preform, does not by any stretch of the imagination mean he was not injured. Thats something you could do in sr3 if you wanted to. you get knocked to the ground, you had to make a willpower test to get back up.
hahnsoo
Erm, start a new thread, guys? This one was going well until it rolled off into "taking hits from a bullet".
mmu1
QUOTE (Shadow_Prophet)
9mm and 45 cal do not have the same kenetic force to start off with.

They most definitely are in the same range, which is all that matter for the purposes of this discussion - on average, the .45 is going to be ahead slightly, but you can easily find 9mm rounds with a higher KE than many .45 rounds.

They certainly are close enough that saying a 9mm round can be shrugged off but a .45 round will do damage has no basis in reality. Neither would be a heavy pistol round by SR standards.
mmu1
QUOTE (hahnsoo)
Erm, start a new thread, guys? This one was going well until it rolled off into "taking hits from a bullet".

It's my revenge for all threads of mine that got hijacked!
...
...
... oh, fine...
hahnsoo
I personally think the best way to house rule the supposed problem of attributes being weighted higher than skills is to simply limit the net hits available by the skill being used (if any... there are several tests that don't use skills at all), as suggested by one of the folks earlier (can't remember who at the moment). This way, skill is valuable (you can't achieve extraordinary success without high skill), but attributes are valuable as well (a raw talent with a single skill point can still do a task pretty consistently). A similar mechanic already exists for Magic (net hits are limited by the spell's Force), so it's analogous to that. Best of all, you don't radically change the original dice mechanic.

I think in my group, we are going to make it optional for the GM to impose that limitation. Call it an "Expertise Skill test", which simply means that the net hits are limited by the base skill, and use that for any technically limited tasks.
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