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Shadowrun 4e newbie questions
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Whipstitch
Prince


Joined: 29 Apr 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2016 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Longes wrote:
A question for all of you experienced SR GMs and players. What's your opinion on using Jackpoint in PC description or game running? Personally, I find to be somewhat masturbatory, like writing yourself into a Harry Potter fanfic as a Snape's relative - a form of hanging out with the kool kids.


The whole hobby is pretty masturbatory, people just have different kinks. Joking aside, I agree with you insofar that I'm not fond of shoehorning canon big dick NPCs into everything but otherwise there's nothing all that bad about presenting matrix legwork results as local interest Jackpoint posts. Unfortunately, there's nothing particularly good about doing so, either. Shadowrun had already grown fat and insular by the time of Fourth Edition and if you read the core book with an eye towards what it must look like to a new player, it must be said that they actually did a pretty bad job of really introducing what Jackpoint even is. There's a shout-out from FastJack to Captain Chaos but unless you've read other books in the franchise there's no real explanation that you're ever reading a screed from an underground information trading network for shadowrunners. So if you're dealing with a true newbie throwing around "Jackpoint" as if it means anything isn't really any more useful than telling them that they can take /r/StreetSamurai as one of their backgrounds.
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Longes
Duke


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've always struggled with the question - how cyberpunk is Shadowrun? Is information free? Are there publically available GoogleMaps and Wikipedias and cat meme repositories, or is all of this hidden behind paid access, packaged into mapsofts and datasofts?
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maglag
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Joined: 02 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Following on the above, how common is cyber piracy? Something most law enforcement overlooks or jail and torture for anyone caught torrenting angry dragons?

Can the regular Joe afford high speed net connections or that's just for the elite?

How is cyber security? Are common anti-virus trustworthy or your normal Joe has a hundred virus and worms on his computer, with a dozen companies data-mining him simultaneously?

How is privacy? Can yor normal Joe easily remain an anonymous on the net or everybody can easily learn of your real life when you make a post?

What's the latest gaming fad? What iteration is Call of Duty currently on? Has Half-Life 3 been launched yet?
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Stahlseele
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Joined: 14 Apr 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Longes yes, there are still free open enthusiast bords like 4chan.
As you can still buy GPS systems and navdat maps i guess there is still a business model there, but of course there are also again the free minded people who look at these maps and go:"those are all wrong, there is stuff hidden here, and i will show it to the world!" and make their own stuff maybe free for use like open street maps today.

@maglaq
As of SR4 at least there are actual rules for pirating software you use.

High-Speed-Internet is the norm rather than the exception. Aside from the barrens. But even there, in game terms, it is just there and falls under lifestyle cost.

Cyber Security is not what it seems you think it is. The datamining is part of you using your comlink in visible mode and included in the Tits and Ass of any and all services you make use of. Be happy if it is only a dozend companies datamining you simultanously.

Technically, anonymity is still a given. Practically, it depends heavily on where you leave your digital fingerprints. A dedicated Decker WILL find you.

Appearantly VR/AR MMORPGs are big with Harlekin and Ehran at least.
And of course there are still racing games, shooter games, role playing games and the such . . But with the advent of simsense tech, these are way more advanced than anything we have today. Hell, rename the movie MATRIX into GRIDLIFE and you could have people who jack themselves into that for fun. Probably because of IP/Copyright no mention of any well known IP has been made in the entirety of shadowrun to my knowledge.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Is alchemy generally considered underpowered or just very specialized? Reading discussions here and there it seems good for giving buffs to teammates but really bad for replicating combat spells.
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Longes
Duke


Joined: 04 Nov 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Is alchemy generally considered underpowered or just very specialized? Reading discussions here and there it seems good for giving buffs to teammates but really bad for replicating combat spells.


SR 5 alchemy is incredibly underpowered. Extensive explanation of why alchemy is really bad.


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Blade
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Joined: 14 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

@Longes: Earlier editions had a more centralized Matrix, since there wasn't a widespread free Internet to draw inspiration from. Later editions moved to a Matrix closer to the Internet. But it's also one of these topics that depend a lot on the writer. From some the Matrix == the Internet, for others it's more walled gardens (think early AOL), for others it's the Internet but people only trust and rely on their corporate systems (think people whose Internet == Facebook).

So there's a lot of leeway so that you can adapt to the style you want for your table.

@maglag:
There's an international organisation tasked with taking care of Matrix law-enforcement. It's been there for some time, but it has become litteral Matrix police in SR5. I don't know if they only care about hackers or if they also fight piracy.

High-speed connection is the norm.

Cyber-security is shit. If it wasn't, hackers/deckers wouldn't have any fun. Explanations about how society can still function is mostly handwaving, but when you look at the real world it's not necessarily that absurd.

Privacy is dead. But it's for your own good. Staying anonymous requires a commitment that is not compatible with modern life.
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Is alchemy generally considered underpowered or just very specialized? Reading discussions here and there it seems good for giving buffs to teammates but really bad for replicating combat spells.

For combat applications, there's chemtech and manatech.
FAB III Grenades. Or a Supersoaker filled with the nutrient/FAB III Mixture.
Flamethrowers and Lasers and Sonic Weapons do very well against supernatural stuff as well.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Is alchemy generally considered underpowered or just very specialized? Reading discussions here and there it seems good for giving buffs to teammates but really bad for replicating combat spells.


Alchemy is the exclusive province of NPCs in all editions of the game. Every so often something gets written into the game which uses manatech as a backstory, but the version player characters get (if they get one at all) is pretty universally terrible. I don't know why, but every edition has been absolutely mortally afraid of letting the player characters actually have anything useful that was manatechish. When they make things like corpse cadavres and mana leeching bacteria gas and shit, they always put a little "fuck you, NPCs only. P.S.: Fuck you" at the end. And when they do create some player character rules for enchanting shit, those are always hot garbage. Like, seriously the time you invest is usually worse than working at Stuffer Shack and using the moneys to buy crap at the Talismonger. And for that you get to spend skill points. It's fucking awful.

Now SR5 specifically brought in a bunch of weird ass crazy shit involving making spells that go off later and crafting homunculi and stuff that sounds like it could be pretty good. But the versions they left open for player characters are absurdly nerfed. The costs and times involved are really harsh. It takes a long time to make a spell for later use, and you don't have very much time to use it in.

That being said, putting spell attacks into bullets is still a pretty good idea. Sure it's ridiculously expensive for very small damage bonuses, but SR5 gives you a hard limit on how many attacks you can make, which means that most characters use less than 9 bullets on an entire mission with multiple fire fights. Having really expensive bullets that do marginally more damage is simply a good deal because the marginal benefit of taking down an opponent versus nearly taking down an opponent in one shot is so high. So naturally SR5 walked even that back in Street Grimoire and just flat out told you that the GM can arbitrarily take your magic bullets away whenever they want by declaring them warped during firing or some fucking thing.

Player Characters aren't allowed to have nice things that are mana tech. And when something usable accidentally makes it through to publication, some asshole erratas it away in the next book.

-Frank
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Longes
Duke


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SR5's Homunculi and Corpse Cadavre are actually pretty sweet. I wouldn't go into analyzing whether buying those rituals is better or worse than buying a box of drones, but assuming you have them - they are good. Ritual ingridients are dirt cheap (20 nuyen per Force of the ritual), and you are going to buy a lodge anyway. With Corpse Cadavre you can animate corpses for months and have them retain a measure of their skill, so if you want a zombie mechanic you can have a zombie mechanic, and if you want to animate five gangbangers with SMGs you can do that too.
Homunculi is more situational. You can animate a piece of rope and have Merlin's Frakir from Chronicles of Amber. You can animate some dummies and have a few expendable meat shields or suicide bombers. The downside is that most things you might want to do with Homunculi are easier to do with a drone.


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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Has there been a fix to alchemy in Shadowrun 4e that's deemed acceptable to have an alchemical fireball alongside sorcerous ones? Prepping sorcery ahead of time to use when needed would make them like vancian wizards. B
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Has there been a fix to alchemy in Shadowrun 4e that's deemed acceptable to have an alchemical fireball alongside sorcerous ones? Prepping sorcery ahead of time to use when needed would make them like vancian wizards. B


The idea of alchemy specifically creating contingency spells is a 5th edition thing. Previous editions do not have that. Contingency spells in previous editions are the province of Anchoring, which is a metamagic that literally no one ever uses because it costs karma and Shadowrun's quaint belief that people wanted to spend permanent XP to modify individual actions was always hilariously wrong.

-Frank
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
Has there been a fix to alchemy in Shadowrun 4e that's deemed acceptable to have an alchemical fireball alongside sorcerous ones? Prepping sorcery ahead of time to use when needed would make them like vancian wizards. B

It is called a grenade usually.
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Irish
1st Level


Joined: 10 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What are some good choices to make when creating a magician in 4A so that the character can contribute to the party without making them feel small in the pants?
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kzt
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Irish wrote:
What are some good choices to make when creating a magician in 4A so that the character can contribute to the party without making them feel small in the pants?

Have everyone else also be a mage.
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SlyJohnny
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Get a bunch of Force 3 sustaining focuses at Chargen, and buff the shooty types with Armor and Increase Reflexes. And the face with Increase Charisma, though you won't be able to put that on the focuses, but it's good for the initial negotiation scene and stuff, so you can just eat the penalty for a bit.
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OgreBattle
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What are poisons like in Shadowrun 4e, do people ever coat them on blades/arrows for combat or is shooting people and stunballs just way more convenient?
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Blade
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Poisoned blades/arrows are rarely worth the cost: it will still take two hits (or one very powerful/lucky hit) to kill anyone. So most people won't bother. And if you want to stun someone, you can use electric weapons or spells. An exception is the stunpatch, which can be seen as a poison, and is commonly used to knock out someone.

The only cases I've seen poison used is in drinks/food or for the "now you need the antidote" kind of deal, and maybe once or twice for some subtle kills.
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FrankTrollman
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

OgreBattle wrote:
What are poisons like in Shadowrun 4e, do people ever coat them on blades/arrows for combat or is shooting people and stunballs just way more convenient?


Poisons in Shadowrun 4th edition are "fucking insane" because their power levels got converted from a system where they were a number you had to roll on a die to a system where they were a number of hits you had to roll without changing the underlying numbers. Even if you have poison resistance modifications on your armor and blood filtration cybernetics, there's fucking no way in hell that poisons don't always work on you. They are way off the RNG. It's like whoah.

So people never use poisons, as a sort of gentleman's agreement that those parts of the rules don't work and actually using them on the player side would involve the MC using them back and then everyone's super fucked. The numbers in SR4 really are that bad for poisons of any kind. It's like they were written down before the new system was finalized, which they probably were.

See also: Ghoul Apocalypse.

-Frank
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Stahlseele
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

*snickers*
Ah yeah, Mr.Deeries one "oversight" ^^
Such an easy to produce and use weapon of mass destruction via magical biological warfare.
Ghoul-Puree, some crop dusters. Say goodbye.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So as my group has been running some playtests for the eventual adaption of Shadowrun 4A + alt.War + EotM + house rules, we've hit a couple of things that are confused.

Astral Ambushes:
So unbound spirits and bound spirits providing services hang out on the astral plane, within a few hundred meters of the mage. Right? And they can be ambushed on the astral plane. Right?

So Stone is Mage providing security services for Euphoria, and has 3 spirits providing services. The PC wizard (Bruno) summons up a pair of bound spirits and an unbound spirit and goes astral. Then Bruno and his spirit posse attack one of the spirits - and spirit versus spirit combat in the astral is pretty deadly, because astral beings don't have armor and end up rolling Force to soak whatever damage they take.

Now Stone is alerted when one of his spirits is destroyed. But even if he decides to go astral to try to help out, it's a complex action to project and he doesn't gain extra IP until the start of the next turn. At which point he's probably going to be facing Bruno and his spirit posse with maybe one spirit left.

Is this how things are supposed to play out, or did we really make a mistake. Alternately, is Stone better off just constantly summoning fresh unbound spirits rather than going astral and getting his asses kicked?

Search and Concealment Critter Powers
If you're trying to hide from Lonestar or whoever while your heat goes down, is it legitimate to set up a ward, summon a spirit with Concealment, and then have the spirit Conceal you while you're in the ward? Or can the spirit not enter the warded area without breaking it?

Spirits using the Search power can search for anything their summoner provides a mental image of. Can you send a spirit to find something that you've only seen pictures of? ie, Lonestar mage arrives at a crime seen, gets video pictures of the escape vehicle, and summons a spirit to go find it. Is he out of luck or does this work? If he is in luck, is there any way to the shadowrunners to hide their vehicle other than put it in a warded garage and have a spirit Conceal it? At first I thought you could repaint it but that's obviously stupid.

Street Magic Metamagic:
So Invoking and Divination seem pretty boss. Are any of the other basic Metamagic techniques in Street Magic worth comprehending, or are they all the fiddly bullshit dross that they seem to be on a brief glance?

Are there any houserules for Anchoring/Quickening that do not involve spending karma/build points for temporary things?

Are any of the advanced Metamagic techniques any good? Absorption and Reflecting seem like they should be pretty good, but there's so many conditionals in the text that I'm worried they end up sucking.


Last edited by mlangsdorf on Wed Mar 29, 2017 5:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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