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As the title suggests, Combat Pool.

I don't think I can live with it to be honest, it makes too much of a difference on a thinking level, I don't want to play damn well D&D, I hate it. The problem is, I'm not completely fluid on the rules as of yet, but I can't see myself actually getting going full time on SR4 without a system at least.

I've not played a single game yet, need a book for that, PDFs are just a pain, especially with the loading speed of this one.

So I was thinking, what if you totally scrapped the ability+skill thing and use pools instead? Although, now I've just typed that, I've just realise it'd screw the whole system, heh.

Okay, for "Combat Pool", you could use like Agility, Intuition and Reaction, I guess that'd make sense. Divide by 2 of course. I suppose you could use straight Agility and Intuition with no divider, if you wanted more dice? I'm not sure.

You could perhaps use a "Combat Pool" and use the normal system for everything else, but I bet there are major unbalancing issues there somewhere which I haven't suddenly popped in to my head.

I dunno, anyone have any decent suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

- Baatorian
Just play SR3? Seriously, if Combat Pool is important to you, play the game that has it. Retrofiting SR4 to include the tactical pools of SR3 just sounds like you're opening up another pandora's box of a flamewar and wasting a lot of your own time.
Patrick Goodman
That said, Dashifen, it's really not that hard to emulate the old Combat Pool in SR4. The names have been changed, but the formulae really haven't.

I think his best bet is to continue to play SR3, to be sure, but adding CP as a house rule isn't too difficult.
True, but combat pool as been replaced, in many ways, with the rules for Edge and Full Defense. I guess I'd want to know more about how Baatorian wants to use this new pool before I move beyond the knee-jerk reaction biggrin.gif
QUOTE (Baatorian @ Sep 13 2005, 11:54 AM)

I've not played a single game yet, need a book for that, PDFs are just a pain, especially with the loading speed of this one.


Our group didn't miss it at all, yet. There are new tactical options in combat. Plus if you can convince your GM to refresh Edge fairly regularly (every session or two, which is a lot of people's run length), and you take at least 3 or 4 point in it, it creates a lot of the same "go for the kill or hang onto it to save my butt" questions that Combat Pool did.

EDIT: Even with only 1 or 2 Edge you still have the same questions, with even more weight on them. You just can't opt to go for the kill as often before the option needs to wait for the refresh.

When i first heard about CP i was lamenting it's loss too, thinking about possible house rulls to bring it into SR4. But now? Nah. Maybe that will change back after settling into the SR4 rules. But i kinda doubt it.
Blakkie, heh, I AM the GM. Sometimes I do get to play, yes, but I have a nice facist leadership thing going where I decide all the rules.

Right, okay.

Yes, I suppose it makes sense to play the damn game and see what it's like before trying to work out, possibly complicated, house rules. Edge, yes, I'm sure that will make a difference, although I don't think it'll be a substitute for combat pool, maybe it will, I suppose I shall have to wait and see.

To Dashifen and Patrick Goodman. Matrix. Rigging. There are a lot of things I don't dare touch in SR3, mainly because it's a pain in the ass. I like the idea that myself and my group(not all of whom are brain surgeons) may well be able to use these areas in SR4. Hence attempting to get one of my favourite parts in this new game, before trying to get many parts in to the old.

That and SR4 is like a shiny new toy. For the moment at least.

- Baatorian

Note: Dashifen. I simply wish to use it like SR3, I like it a lot, it's what set the game out from many, many others and helped dragged me away from D&D. Thank God, Jesus and Little Timmy.

Note: Blakkie. Oh, yes and I read your first run already, very nice, sounded like a lot of fun.
BTW, the newest version of the pdf loads really fast. I got the first version and had some load issues with it but once I downloaded the 1.1 version, they went away. Printing is now much faster also. And if it still loads slow for you, turn off the load large images in the Reader preferences. That makes an even bigger difference.
Thanks, Ambidex, I'll do that.

- Baatorian
Now seeing your post about what you want to do with combat pool, I heartily suggest that you give it a shot without and tweak later if you need to. The Full Defense rules are a godsend and the ability to delay an action into the next initiative pass (even if you don't have another one) is great, too. There are still a number of things to help with tactics from non-fighter types, too.

I had a hacker that switched from full lighting to the security lighting inside a building suddenly plunking everyone without vision enhancements into a certain creek without a paddle. I liked the idea enough that I let it go through despite his lack of higher level access to the correct node (hey, maybe someone installed a wireless clapper in that building biggrin.gif).

So, with a litte creativity, the lack of combat pool can be surmounted with some of the new tactical rules that are in the game (Edge and Full Defense) primarily.
Hey Baatorian,

I made a halfway serious joke about throwing in combat pool rules just to prevent further strife among the SR3/SR4 crowd, but it got me thinking.

Adding a whole slew of dice pools will really throw off the numbers. If you just give people a bunch of free offense and defense dice things'll be a little nuts. And you'll still have the whole "I need to track dice pools for every NPC grunt" problem - which got really old in SR3.

So here's another option.
Tactical flexibility- A character may choose to withhold dice from his Agility during an attack. These dice are available for Reaction tests to defend against attacks. Similarly, a character may choose to withhold dice from Reaction in order to improve an attack. This rule may be combined with the Full Defense option. This rule must be invoked before the character makes any attacks in a round. Adjustments to Reaction and Agility last for the duration of the round.

The Tactical flexibility option lets you make the same offense/defense tradeoffs. I purposely set the duration as a whole round so that you get the same effect that snipers got in SR3 - a full out attack left you defenseless for a round.

For another choice - Combat Pool ala SR4. A character's Combat Pool equals his Maximum Edge score (rather than current edge). These dice refresh every round and may be added to any attack, dodge or damage resistance test. Dice used in this way do not explode. Further refinement - add the Dodge skill to combat pool and eliminate the Full Defense option.

This option also lets you make the same tradeoffs, with the added benefit of emphasizing the Edge stat and giving a slight boost to non-cybered mundanes. Better yet, NPC squads use a group edge stat so they can have a group dice pool, too. Tracking one pool is better than tracking ten after all.
Dashifen - Yes, I think regardless of anything, I will run 2-3 games completely vanilla and see how that goes. That hacker trick is indeed very nice and I would have, as a GM, done exactly the same thing and let it slide. Creativity should be encouraged as much as possible I say.

Clyde - Yes, your comment is why I made this post. It suddenly occured to me that I wasn't sure how to do it and I felt it was a worthy enough subject.

The Tactical Flexbility™ idea is very good indeed, I do like that a lot, then, I also like the Edge equals Combat Pool suggestion, not sure about adding in Dodge, but it is indeed possible. I'll have to have a think about all of these and prepare something just incase the vanilla combat system doesn't live up to my expectations of Shadowrun.

A note on Combat Pool SR3 however. As a GM, Combat Pool is also useful to occasionally change the power levels of the NPCs, not to mention adding certain flavour to others. Such as the Ork ganger on PCP always blowing all CP on offense.

It's always nice as well, even though the players probably never notice it, to spend CP a little unwisely for less trained combatants and using it mercilessly for exprienced ones(the latter most likely noticed).

Edge, being luck, seems to be something everyone would use to their best advantage.

Oh well, we'll see won't we, thanks to everyone up to now.

- Baatorian

Edit - LOL, I just noticed I've just upgraded from Target to Moving Target after nearly three years.
Congratulations on the upgrade!

Did you ever use Threat Ratings back in SR2? I was always rather fond of those, as they let me power the NPCs up and down on the fly but they didn't need round by round tracking because the Threat Rating adds to all rolls all the time. Of course, Threat Rating 8 or 10 NPCs could get pretty ridiculous. silly.gif
I used threat ratings, although more around the time that I was learning and testing the different rule systems. I did use them here and there, usually when the numbers of opponents became too high to track individual combat pools for.

Otherwise, it has been mostly CP all the way, when you get used to it and working out averages on the fly it's not that bad.

Something I did note though with threat rating, was a high threat opponent with good initiative boost could in theory get far, FAR more dice than any PC could hope to get with CP alone, kind of breaking the system balance wise.

Otherwise yes, very quick and very easy.

- Baatorian
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