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Shadowrun Alt.War Clarifications
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Captain_Karzak
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:16 pm    Post subject: Shadowrun Alt.War Clarifications Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I know Alt.War was never finished but I've been getting a hankering to GM again after being kinda bored as a player in a PF game. I think I might want to run SR4 again, but this time using Alt.War rules. Has anyone done this?

I was wondering how DV's and weapon strength requirements stage up for narrow bursts. Alt.War clearly states that DV increases due to auto fire have to be decreased from the base SR4 rules, but it's never explicitly stated how they change, so here's my guess:

Short Burst : +1 DV & Str Req
Long Burst : +2 DV & Str Req
Full Burst: +3 DV & Str Req
Full Burst w/ a High Velocity weapon : +4 DV & Str Req

How about for wide bursts?

Short Burst : -2 to target's defense & +1 Str Req
Long Burst : -5 to target's defense & +2 Str Req
Full Burst: -9 to target's defense & +3 Str Req
Full Burst w/ a High Velocity weapon : -11 to target's defense & +4 Str Req

What do gas vents do for firearms under Alt.War rules?
Should they exist in ratings 1 to 3 and negate an amount equal to their rating of Str Req increase for automatic fire?

I was also wondering how Body affects how much armor you can wear. In Alt.War all armor has a minimum strength. I assume you also have to abide by the Bodyx2 limitation from the SR4 base ruleset?

Does anyone know how well spellcasting, summoning, and binding work in Alt.War? With the adoption of the proportional damage system, 4 unsoaked drain renders you incapacitated whereas in the original SR4 base rules, a mage wouldn't suffer that fate on less than 9 to 11 unsoaked drain depending on how long their damage track was. I know the drain codes on spells and summoning were altered (summoning drain especially is less random) but I'm guessing that drain dice are really going to be valued at a premium under Alt.War rules.


Last edited by Captain_Karzak on Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:17 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I've been GM'ing a SR4 game that is extensively houseruled using alt.War and EOTM and a bunch more besides. I've got two Shadowrun veterans and two total newbies, and for what it's worth, they're all having fun. So that's my bona fides. To your questions...

AUTOFIRE

We fiddled with this over and over and over again until we finally just collapsed narrow bursts and wide bursts into a single mechanic that reduced the threshold modifier to hit the target (note: we converted a lot of the dicepool modifiers to threshold modifiers, and I can go into why that's a great idea if you care about it later). BF gives a -1 and FA gives a -2, but cover and coverage get bonuses against them (for obvious reasons).

Guns are still crazy-lethal in alt.War, although less deterministic than in SR4/SR5. But if you post up with a sniper rifle and APDS rounds, you WILL have a very good chance of one-shotting darn near anyone.

Frank's original rules for Gas Vent systems were: "The Gas Vents are no longer numbered 1-4. A "Gas Vent System" is applied in the firing mode modifier, reducing the modifier for firing in burst fire and full auto mode." We pretty much left that as is. At least in our group, this leads to the Street Sam ignoring them as a gun mod, and the less physical members prizing them for when they (try to) break out the big guns.

ARMOR

Shadowrun has gone back and forth on how it handles armor stacking, and from what I can remember, alt.War doesn't take a position on it. We allow armor stacking to provide increased armor, but impose a dicepool penalty to discourage it as well. It seems to work alright. Most characters have a preferred type of armor that they stick with, and we don't see the constant SR4 nonsense of armor+FFBA+special crap from Arsenal. The team did once wrap the injured mage in half a dozen armored coats and wedge him under a car, where he couldn't move but could get LOS to cast spells. I thought that was legit.

alt.WAR SPELLCASTING

Frank's original formula's:

"Drain of course has to be calculated differently for conjuration. Here is the new formula:

Summoning: ˝ Force (round down) + Number of Hits.
Binding: ˝ Force (round down) + ˝ Number of Hits (round down)
Banishing: Number of Hits

In all cases, the “Number of Hits” refers to the number of hits rolled by the spirit in resisting the Conjuration attempt."


This is where we wound up making a pretty notable departure, and changed the damage system back to be non-proportional (not in general, but for Drain). The problem I was seeing was that during all our beta tests and a few of our early sessions, anything cast or summoned at roughly Force = Magic was resolving to about a -1 or a -2 Drain (meaning the caster got enough hits to negate it, and then 1 or 2 more). Once we made our tweaks, then Force = Magic typically results in Drain of 0-2, and I was happy with that. It also gave everyone a reason to cast / summon even-numbered Forces again.

If I remember correctly, there's a post near the end of the EOTM thread where Frank answered some of my questions about the pros and cons of proportional vs. non-proportional Drain several years before alt.War was even a thing.

To be fair, we fiddled with the magic system a bit so you might not run into that problem if you're adhering to the SR4 mechanics more than we did...but considering you're adopting alt.War, I kind of doubt that.

Hope that helps!
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Captain_Karzak
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ah okay. I looked in the Alt.War development thread and found more information. http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=51934&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=350

So I think what Frank intended to do for burst fire was add a +3 dice bonus and increase the strength requirement. This close to how automatic weapons work in After Sundown. However, in AS, there's effectively only 2 firing modes: Semi-auto and Automatic. In Alt.War there are many more: SS/SA/BF/FA with further modification to FA if that weapon is high velocity.

So I assume there are no more narrow or short wide bursts. But there are still SA/BF/FA/HV to deal with.

If short burst = +3 dice +1 Str Req then
long burst = +5 dice +2 Str Req, maybe???
we could pretend that the complex action full burst is not a thing and that instead you just have to instead do a short burst + long burst as your two simple actions.
High velocity then is just the ability to do two long bursts per IP.
That could be simple enough.


RE: turning dice pool penalties into thresholds for ranged combat-

Having MC'd After Sundown, I can say that all those threshold modifiers make it damn hard to be good at ranged combat with guns. Part of that is that the first couple range increments are so short. This is not so much a problem with Pain Drops or Death Note, where a single net hit is sufficient to kill because of how inherently difficult it is to soak the damage inflicted by those two abilities. Anyway guns in AS are fine for the sort of game AS is, where supernatural abilities are what make you awesome.

But in Shadowrun, I don't want rules that make it harder for Street Sams to shoot people to death. Of all the balance problems SR4 has, I'm gonna guess that Sam's being flawless instruments of death is not among them.


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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

SHORT VERSION

Assuming that Street Sams in your games are running around with higher-than-relatively-average STR, you probably want to add an additional Str Req to additional actions. So using your idea, BF becomes +3 DP / +1 STR for the first use in an IP, then goes to +3 DP / +2 STR for the second use in an IP, etc. That will make players who don't have the requisite STR stop throwing lead around earlier compared to those who do.

LONG VERSION

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating mindlessly converting DP to Threshold at a 1:1 ratio; that would be dumb. And you certainly don't need to convert every modifier ever. But from a mathematics perspective, the difference between +3 DP and -1 Threshold is roughly equivalent. In Shadowrun, there's not much of a difference except for making Glitches more or less common in some corner cases. An archetype doesn't get disadvantaged just because you use a different but equivalent mechanic.

Street Sams are only going to become relatively over/under-powered if you put your thumb on the scales one way or another when you're converting bonuses and penalties. If you want to tip the scales in their favor, then you simply make sure that the sort of bonuses they typically possess (smartlinks, cybersenses, etc.) do a better job at penalty mitigation than the alternatives. Conversely, you also make sure that the sort of penalties they typically defray (recoil, visibility, range, etc.) are appropriately significant. Once you do that, people who don't have the requisite augmentations to approximate a Street Sam will be at a disadvantage when it comes to gunplay compared to people who do.

The biggest advantage of using thresholds over DP modifiers is that it speeds up rolling at the table because the player doesn't have to be cognizant of all the situational bonuses or penalties. They can roll while the GM is still figuring out what +1-2+2-3+1 (or whatever) cashes out to without a federal case breaking out because someone rolled too many dice and now you have to walk it back and oh-gosh-let's-argue-about-which-dice-to-reroll. So you can offload the situational stuff like visibility, range, cover, size, etc. and let them just be responsible for the factors they know about.

Anyhow, your mileage may vary (and it sounds like you've had some different experiences), but that's the intent behind the theory. And it shouldn't adversely affect Street Sams unless there's some other issue going on.
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Captain_Karzak
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JesterZero, would you willing to post the threshold modifier house rules your group uses?

I assume thresholds must come up a lot otherwise there's nothing to negate by employing autofire and thus no advantage to shooting more bullets at enemies. And if thresholds come up a lot, and enemies get both a defense and a soak roll I could see things going pretty badly.

when I played SR I don't really remember frequently taking any ranged penalties, certainly not around -6 or above! So if you do -3 penalty = 1 threshold conversion and short bursts knock off 1 threshold, there's very few scenarios in which long or full bursts are helpful. Which seems a little weird to me.

But with the right conversions I can see how thresholds are cleaner and faster than dealing with fiddly ranged penalties and having to add extra dice from autofire.


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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Absolutely. Let me pull that together into something readable for BBCode, right now it's in a rather heavily-styled .docx file.

Not to beat a dead horse, but two other advantages to thresholds vs. DP modifiers, with the caveat that thresholds are NOT universally better (addendum on that at the end):

1) Threshold modifiers don't necessarily give away game information if your players have a tendency to metagame. For example (not using actual numbers here, just illustrating the point), if -6 DP is a semi-unique modifier for "invisible opponent," then telling everyone to "roll visual perception, but subtract six dice" sort of gives away the plot. For what it's worth, I'm less concerned about metaknowledge / powergaming than I am about being able to still surprise my players with events and scenes. I've only got one player who's basically memorized all the mechanics, but by his own admission he still prefers to be surprised and enjoy the plot twists as they come. So this works well for that.

2) In Shadowrun specifically, accumulated DP penalties can interact with the glitch mechanics in an odd way. I'll spare you mathematical examples (unless you want them), but the tl;dr version is that glitches basically follow a power-law distribution, and occur most frequently when a dicepool has been reduced to low/mid single digits. So a sniper trying to make a truly crazy shot with a final DP of 4 becomes likelier to...slip on a banana peel? Just because the target is at extreme range? We didn't like that.

ADDENDUM: Again, just to be super-clear, I'm not advocating absolute replacement of DP modifiers...we still use them a lot, largely because...

1) They're more granular. Mathematically, under typical SR4/5 rules, you can ballpark a shift in threshold at 3 DP. If we want to get really technical, it's 2-4 depending on where you are on a particular probability curve, but just saying "3" works fine. But what about when you want something more fiddly than +/- 3 DP? Well, that's when dicepool modifiers work great. Sometimes you truly need something that's more precise. For example, in our game we've decreed that Smartlinks give a -1 Threshold modifier (but are only available via cyberware), but laser sights still give +1 DP. Stuff like that.

2) Sometimes you want glitch interactions. So, we have gone C-R-A-Z-Y with house rules, using alt.War as a template. And originally we converted wound modifiers to threshold modifiers, but we wound up walking that back...BOTH because we wanted something more granular, AND because severely injured metahumans are a perfect example of when we WANT glitches to show up, because they're lightheaded from blood loss and stumbling into walls and whatnot. Sustaining spells and bound spirits would be another conceptually similar example where DP penalties work better than Threshold modifiers. You get the idea.

Anyhow, I'll pull together our combat modifiers for you, along with the adjacent rule changes to try to help give them some context. Give me a little bit though, this is a job for a BBCode table generator.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Ok, since you asked, here are our modifiers for Ranged Combat. I'm missing a couple of Melee Combat modifiers from a different chart, but this gives you an idea. I've also included the SR4A modifiers for comparison (it's probably obvious but we call our system "SR4X"...mostly because we initially called it "SR5" back in 2010 and 2011, and then that actually became a thing we didn't want anything to do with):



Ranged Modifier
SR4
SR4X

Range
-0 to -6 DP
-1 to +3 Threshold

Attacker Running
-2 DP
+1 Threshold*

Attacker in Melee Combat
-3 DP
+X Threshold, where X = ˝ Melee Skill of Opponent (round down)

Attacker in a Moving Vehicle
-3 DP
+1 Threshold

Attacker Firing from Cover
-2 DP
-1 DP per Size Modifier

Attacker Using Laser Sight
+1 DP
+1 DP

Attacker Using Smartlinked Weapon
+2 DP
-1 Threshold

Attacker Using Image Magnification
Negate Any Range Penalties
Negate Some Range Penalties

Attacker Using a Second Firearm
Split DP; Negate Targeting Bonus
Split DP; Allow Targeting Bonus

Attacker Using an Off-Hand Weapon
-2 DP
+1 Threshold*

Attacker Wounded
-1 DP per 3 Boxes of Damage
-1 DP per 1 Box of Damage

Aimed Shot
+1 DP per Simple Action
+2 DP per Simple Action

Blind Fire
-6 DP
+4 Threshold (see “Visibility")

Called Shot
Varies (Usually -4 DP)
Varies (Usually +1 threshold)

Multiple Targets
-2 DP
-2 DP**

Recoil
Variable (Count Bullets)
Variable (STR Minimum)

Recoil Compensation
Has Levels; Applies to All Firing Modes
Has No Levels; Applies to BF and FA

Gyro Stabilization
Negates 6 Points of Recoil
Augments STR for Purposes of STR Minimum

Target Point-Blank
+2 DP
-1 Threshold

Visibility Impaired
-0 to -6 DP
+0 to +4 Threshold (see “Visibility")

Size
See Arsenal
See "Size"


* Indicates modifiers where we wonder if DP would work better; at the very least, it shouldn't matter much
** Indicates a rule that we are considering eliminating entirely

We use a unified mechanic for Size / Cover, since you can easily abstract one as the other (for the purposes of putting a bullet into something, "Size" is just the cross-section of what isn't behind suitable "Cover"...you can re-use almost all of this mechanic for alt.War armor Coverage as well). But +0 Threshold is a metahuman standing in the middle of an open space, and that scales up to +3 Threshold if they're hunkered down behind a concrete barricade with only their fingers or toes exposed (or whatever). Suitably large targets scale down to a -3 Threshold as well, with that being the proverbial broad side of a barn.

Visibility modifiers require yet another chart I'm afraid. I don't have the SR4A version handy for comparison, but these are all thresholds as well:



Condition
Normal
Low-Light
Thermographic
Ultrasound

Full Darkness
+4
+4
+2
+2

Partial Light
+2
+0
+1
+1

Glare
+1
+1
+1
+0

Light Fog/Mist/Rain/Smoke
+1
+1
+0
+1

Heavy Fog/Mist/Rain/Smoke
+3
+2
+1
+1

Thermal Smoke
+3
+2
+4
+1


Crap. That's missing Flare Compensation. Oh well. Flare Comp is just the "Normal" column with a "+0" for "Glare." Fun trivia fact: Flare Compensation and Sound Dampening each provide the equivalent of 1 point of hardened armor vs. Flashbangs, which occasionally results in our heavily armored Street Sam with a full sensor suite flinging them about willy-nilly and causing the mage and summoner to curse his name. Never mind. The main thing to note is that folks who invest in senses are almost never in a situation where they're taking more than 1 Threshold's worth of penalties.

Mathematically, all of this is predicated on the assumption that a starting shadowrunner typically rolls a dicepool of ~12 dice in their area of expertise (yes, I know that number can be MUCH higher in SR4A, but we've done a lot of work to discourage that). If that number is significantly different at your table, then you might notice a few oddities. But that's where I'm coming from if you're trying to reverse-engineer the math.

If you've read this far, you might be interested in this quick overview of the house rules related to Combat that aren't already covered in alt.War:

  • Initiative has been completely revamped, and no longer requires dice rolls (except in exceptionally rare circumstances, and possibly not even then). Not gonna lie, we departed pretty radically from SR4A here, but hey: it needed to happen.
  • IP still exists as a concept, but now dictates how many times per Combat Turn a character can trade in an IP for a special action such as automatically dodging an attack
  • Combat Turns are now 10 seconds long.
  • The action economy has been simplified: Complex Actions have been removed, and we now call Simple Actions “Basic Actions” instead. Except of course when I forget to update a document, and revert back to "Simple." Ah well.
  • Characters may take any number of Free Actions during their turn, provided they are different actions. So yelling AND gesturing is legit, but reloading 12 guns is not.
  • Movement Rate is tied to the 10-second Combat Turn (and has been modified accordingly). Characters can declare a movement path and move along it, but changes require a Basic Action (except for Aborting Movement entirely, which is a Free Action).
  • The Defense Roll and the Soak Roll have been combined to streamline combat significantly. You can still break them apart when there’s a need to do so, but you typically don’t have to. This has actually been helpful. The players understand that they typically Defend/Soak with BOD+REA+Armor, but certain types attacks negate REA, and certain types of attacks negate Armor, etc.
  • Ranged Combat modifiers related to range, size, and visibility are now Threshold modifiers, not DP modifiers.
  • Melee Combat is now equivalent to Ranged Combat in the action economy, so being a ninja is once again viable.
  • Called Shot mechanics have also been revamped to account for the Armor changes.

I can elaborate on any of those if you want details, but I'll leave it be unless you ask. Hopefully that helps though. Let me know if I missed anything that you're dying to know about.
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Captain_Karzak
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thanks a ton for posting this! I bet those tables were a pain in the ass. They are really helpful though. I'm still digesting them.

A couple of immediate questions:

How do you handle called shots to increase damage? I think a -1 dice pool in exchange for a +1 dv up to a max of -4 dice /+4 DV in the standard rules is a bit extreme. Maybe cap it at -2 dice /+2 DV? Or using thresholds: maybe a +1 threshold to hit / +2 DV with no allowance for taking bigger threshold penalties to hit to scale up the DV beyond the +2?

A bit off topic but do you have any thoughts on cyberarmor? I think each limb can normally support 4 armor that stacks with all other armor and doesn't count against armor encumbrance. What did your group decide to do with this after adopting Alt.Wars proportionate damage system?
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Please keep in mind that we probably use more house-rules than you're comfortable with if you're trying to do a semi-straight SR4 + alt.War game. That being said...

CALLED SHOTS

So, the tl;dr version is that we straight up removed the called-shot-for-damage mechanic. We still have all sorts of called shot mechanics that allow for other modifiers, but that one went into the bin almost immediately. Here's why...

So called shots for damage are basically a simple math problem: if you can trade a damage increment for 1-2 DP it's almost always a good deal, 3 DP is break even, and 3+ DP is never-do-this-thing-it's-a-tax-on-people-who-can't do-math. Just to be clear, that's because the basic resolution mechanic in SR4 averages out to just about 1 success per 3 dice you roll.

So in basic SR4, assuming you have the DP to burn, you pretty much always do called shots, because you get a 1:1 DP:DV ratio, and scaling your damage up by net successes only gives you (approximately) a 3:1 DP:DV ratio. And trading 4 DP for the effect of 12 DP is a great deal, so why not? Honestly, that's boring. It's basically just a way for Street Sams whose players understand probability to get some extra damage most of the time. A mechanic that is perpetually a local maximum (or minimum if you want to look at the idea not doing it) is literally a trap option. And a break-even option is just redundant. So away it goes.



(Side note: they totally nerfed this in SR5 precisely because it's stupidly good in SR4. You can only do a one time trade of -4 DP for +2 DV, and that's not even as meaningful, since the DV values were cranked up. However, it's still better than not doing it, assuming you have the DP to burn and nothing better to do with your Free Action).

So, having established that the called shot for damage mechanic is garbage, the one that actually does come up most often in our games is bypassing armor COVERAGE, which is unique to alt.War (and it's straightforward: +1 threshold per point of coverage). (Yeah yeah, SR4 does some handwaving and says you can do this, but supplies no actual mechanics). But in alt.War your armor is actually a combination of the armor value, capacity, coverage, and STR minimum, so it poses some interesting choices. Suddenly picking up protection with a lower armor value but a higher coverage is a viable life choice.

CYBERARMOR

The mathematically-correct answer is that if damage values have been scaled way back, then armor values ALSO need to be scaled way back. So running around with 20 armor falls into "just no" territory in alt.War in a way that it doesn't in SR4.

The short version (because I live for this stuff, but I don't want to hold you hostage if you don't) is that we limit it to +1 armor per limb. One way to think of that is "how many extra armored jackets do you want to allow people to wear?" Keep in mind that one armored jacket (in alt.War) is the difference between facedown-and-bleeding and a moderate wound, and two armored jackets is the difference between facedown-and-bleeding and ping!

The slightly longer answer is that we also re-wrote cyberlimb capacity* to make a bit more sense, and so that armor is competing with a lot of other potential upgrades. An obvious cyberarm with attribute enhancements** and +1 armor has no room for any other cool stuff. In our game at least, the Street Sam / Tank character actually elected to forgo armor on his cyberarms, although he has a point of hardened armor on his cybertorso. The jury is still out on what he'll cram into his legs when he gets the nuyen to chop those off. And FWIW, he basically is cover for the rest of the team when it's gangers and small arms, and dives for cover right quick when assault rifles with APDS show up. We tend to think that's entirely reasonable, but YMMV.

* It was like the second thing we did when we started tweaking augmentation rules, before we just bit the bullet and wrote the framework for effect-based cyberware.

** Again, I know this is like a house-rule rabbit hole, but we got rid of micro-managing attributes on cyberlimbs. The limb has the same attributes as the host, but can be enhanced with +1 STR, AGI, and/or REA per limb, which makes a character who goes all-in on limbs a bit stronger than someone using muscle replacement, but still doesn't run afoul of SR4 cyberlimb-of-doom nonsense.
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Captain_Karzak
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JesterZero wrote:

The short version (because I live for this stuff, but I don't want to hold you hostage if you don't) is that we limit it to +1 armor per limb.


Oh I wouldn't be on the Den if I didn't love reading about mechanics. Go nuts, I'd love to hear more about rules tweaks and changes.

I kinda like the cyberarm of doom though: it's a financially inexpensive way to make gangland enforcers and other criminals of limited means and mediocre attributes & training still be somewhat dangerous.

You use Ends of the Matrix also, right? Did you have to adjust any of the effects of those programs to take into account the shorter damage track that Alt.War uses? Like does blackhammer still do Rating + Net hits in damage as complex action?
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

The short answer for EOTM is that you either have to re-balance the numbers to take into account that EOTM was written for linear damage but alt.War uses triangular damage, OR you can use the damage as written but NOT bring in alt.War rules for it, and it will just be a bit more deterministic than blasting away with a shotgun (we mostly do this for the time being). What you should NOT do is just take EOTM as written and use the numbers as inputs for alt.War. That is a ticket to crazy town, and you do not want to go to crazy town. You may want to hang out with the Lipps Inc. and go to funky town, but that's a different place.

We're about 75% through converting EOTM to be a bit simpler but cling as much as possible to the core conceit: namely the best Matrix rules ever seen are probably those that re-use the Magic mechanics as much as possible. That's actually much easier in our games, since we've done away with astral projection, so we don't see much need for VR. We just have to support the AR / astral perception analogy. I have a whole other rant in my pocket as to why astral projection is terrible for the game, but I'll spare you.

Ok, warning, wall of text incoming from our cyberlimb rules. Please be aware that this takes place in the context of an effect-based augmentation system. In other words, we've mapped out the effects that augmentations provide (+x to an attribute, +x to a skill, etc.) and then we allow players to create their own cyberware within that framework (the framework handles the kind of rules we want to enforce, such as bioware being a lot more difficult to detect, essence-friendly, and expensive, but not being able to push the raw numbers as far as cyberware). You get the idea. That also allowed us to take our framework and re-calculate 98% of the core stuff, which nicely does away with some of the funky numbers (e.g. the copy / paste error for Wired Reflexes that has existed for over a decade now).

Also, a lot of us are getting older, and while we love a little bit of fiddly-ness with our game systems, we don't have the patience for the level of fiddly that RAW SR4 and SR5 have introduced. So you'll notice a general trend towards simpler systems and recycling mechanics.

Alright, enough babbling. Let the copy / paste begin.

CYBERLIMBS

Personally I think this is one of the areas that need quite a bit of attention. Some issues I can think of off the top of my head:
  • Nonsensical rules regarding cyberlimbs and attributes (manifesting in “Cyberlimbs of Doom” and other silliness).
  • Nonsensical rules regarding cyberlimbs and their interaction with other augmentations that compete with them.
Interestingly enough, the problems are actually related from a design perspective. Ironically, the first problem stems from the fact that the rules for cyberlimbs aren't abstract ENOUGH, and the second problem stems from the fact that the rules for interaction are TOO abstract (or in this case, non-existent).

In past publications, various editions have published entire books that grapple with this issue. I say we can wrap this up in 5 pages or less. So here's how we're going to fix it:

  • Cyberlimbs do not have attributes. First of all, let's do away with the change made in the 3rd and 4th editions and go back to a time when cyberlimbs did not have discreet attributes. Shadowrun is already a rather abstract system. There is absolutely no need to separately track the AGI of your left foot.
  • Customized cyberlimbs do not exist. Since cyberlimbs don't have attributes, that means that there is no such thing as a customized cyberlimb. Technically, it actually means that every cyberlimb is customized to match the user, but regardless, there's no need to have a second category for it.
  • Cyberlimbs have modular upgrades. We already have a system for dealing with how much cool stuff can be crammed into a cyberlimb: it's called CAPACITY. That's a workable system, so let's stick with it.
  • Cyberlimbs interact poorly with certain other augmentations. There comes a point where it simply makes no sense to derive benefits from certain augmentations when you're rocking quite the collection of cyberlimbs. When you've replaced all your limbs with cybernetic equivalents, exactly what bones are you lacing?
We're not even going to get into the weirdness of cyberlimb essence cost and capacity issues, since those have been defended variously in the past as "symbolic" and "deliberately unrealistic for design purposes." And personally, I'm fine with either of those explanations, although I favor the latter. As long as you understand that in reality your arm is not the same size as your leg, and your lower leg does not constitute 60% of total leg mass, we're good. Because if you try to argue to real life by way of SR4A mechanics instead of vice versa, I will straight-up make you read white papers from the American Association of Anatomists as a prerequisite to character creation.
  • Cyberlimbs are inherently resistant to damage. For each FULL cyberlimb that the character possesses, they gain one additional bonus die for physical soak tests. PARTIAL cyberlimbs do not confer this bonus; what combination of partial limbs might add up to a full limb is left for individual tables to adjudicate, but we’ve gone with lower legs / arms / skulls counting for 50%, and hands / feet counting for 25%.
  • Cyberlimbs can mediate DNI inputs. In other words, there’s no reason that the sensation of “pain” through a cyberlimb has to be as incapacitating as it is through a normal limb. For every half cyberlimb that a character possesses, they can ignore one box of wound modifiers. So a character running around with just their head bolted on the Terminator's body takes no wound modifiers at all; that is intentional.
  • Cyberlimbs are inherently damaging. They do STR÷2 damage when used for the purposes of unarmed combat (as opposed to the (STR÷2)-1 that a regular attack does).
  • Cyberlimbs have capacity. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of cyberlimbs is the fact that they can be stuffed chock full of enhancements and accessories. After all, a cyberlimb is basically just a metal arm or leg until some Street Doc rolls up on you all Xzibit style and tells you, "Yo dawg, we heard you like cyberware, so we're gonna put some cyberware in yo cyberware!"
The last issue that needs to be addressed is the fact that a sufficient quantity of cyberlimbs and certain other augmentations offer mutually exclusive benefits. An example I raised earlier was the issue of how cyberlimbs and bone lacing (don't) co-exist. At a certain point, you simply begin running out of bones to lace if you keep removing limbs and replacing them with robot arms.

[Originally we had some text here that mapped out the conflicting augmentations, but that was before we committed to an effect-based framework, which meant we had to deal with the underlying issue and not just the existing manifestations of it. Now we just have a chart that basically maps out how different technologies interact with different effects, and if you mix and match multiple technologies, the one with the lowest limit gates your total.

So for example, bioware allows you to crank an attribute up to +3, cyberware up to +4, and cyberlimbs up to +5. If you mix and match bioware that gives you +STR and a cyberlimb that gives you +STR, you're limited to a total of +3, because the bioware is setting the limit for the overall system (the entire body). You're still ultimately limited by your augmented racial max, but this allows street sams of all metatypes to hit that limit without ever paying extra BP for hitting the racial max.

The end result is that people who want to be stat monsters typically run around with cyberware and obvious limbs that push stats, and people who want to be cyber-spies run around with bioware that pushes stats and synthetic limbs that contain surprises. They don't have to of course, but that's what the system tends to incentivize.

Beyond that, it's just a matter of re-jiggering the various costs and capabilities for stuff that already exists: cyberlimbs, cyberlimb accessories, and cyberweapons. We created a small category of cyberlimb enhancements, which is just how we handle having a cyberlimb that boosts AGI or Armor or whatever. For our table, we pegged the numbers so that an obvious cyberlimb has just enough capacity to boost AGI, REA, STR, and Armor before it runs out of room, but there's no particular reason you must match those numbers. We just thought that was were we wanted to lower the boom on opportunity costs for our table.]
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

JesterZero, did you ever post your collection of house rules as a PDF somewhere? I couldn't find anything on a naive search via google.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I did not, mostly because young me had a rather naive understanding of intellectual property law and embedded a small truckload of art he doesn't own the rights to in my write-ups for the last several years. So even though it looks semi-professional (or at least better than half the stuff on drivethru), it's totally undermined by the fact that it's fundamentally un-distributable for copyright reasons.

At some point I'll probably go back and make a "just words" version that is more suitable for wider distribution, either as a .pdf and/or a blog...it just keeps getting bumped back in line due to life drama. I'm really hoping to get it all done this year, but...we'll see. My new players are clamoring for it as well.

If you want to discuss a particular chunk (it's organized in the same chapters as the SR4A book), just let me know though. I really don't mean to tease folks, I just don't have a version that's ready for the spotlight just yet.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I think the thing I'm most interested in how you handle Recoil. I have some house rules based on alt.War but they're kind of meh and probably stick too close to the original rules. I'd like to see another version.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sure thing. I can probably give you a the 10k-foot overview pretty easily here, but please feel welcome to call out anything I wind up overlooking.
  • Our basic framework is the alt.War STR minimums. They function (for the most part) as a "you must be this tall to ride," give folks a reason to not dumpstat STR, and can be mitigated in a few ways (for example, we have a sniper who has a long gun that's way too big for her, but she gets around it by shooting prone with a bipod).
  • The more you get your gun off in a Combat Turn, the higher that STR minimum creeps up. So shooting more than once raises the STR minimum, as does shooting in a firing mode like BF or FA. If you go past the STR min, you take a DP penalty equal to 2x the difference.
  • There are some ways to mitigate firing mode recoil. Specifically I'm thinking of gas vents or stabilizing the weapon, but for the most part this does a pretty good job of keeping the bigger guns out of the hands of characters who can't use them. (I actually had a player bemoaning the fact that they were facing an ork gang, because "orks means AKs." So at least in that respect it seems to work well).
  • It also means that we don't have to count individual bullets to figure out recoil anymore either. Because that was rampant nonsense.
Let me know if that scratches where you were itching, or if I've forgotten something.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

I would appreciate the specifics of how you're handling burst fire and recoil compensators.

Currently, I'm doing this, which is basically alt.War + standard Shadowrun recoil rules.

RECOIL
A weapon's Recoil attribute is the character Body required to use it normally. Using a weapon with a higher Recoil than the weilder's Body causes them to suffer penalties. Using a weapon in a faster firing mode or firing them one-handed causes the Recoil of the weapon to rise, which means that the character has to be stronger in order to use weapons in those ways without penalties.

Semiautomatic weapons that fire twice in a phase increase their Recoil by 1. Each burst increases the recoil by 2. Long bursts increase the recoil by 3. Full auto increases the recoil by 6. Increases in Recoil can be countered with Recoil compensation systems.

For each point of Recoil that is greater than the firing character's Body, the character suffers a -1 dicepool penalty on the attack and a -2 dicepool penalty on any other action he takes (including Defense rolls, but not including Soak rolls) until the
beginning of his next initiative pass.

Heavy Weapons: Any weapon classified as a heavy weapon (light, medium, and heavy machine guns and all assault cannons) has all of its recoil doubled if the weapon is not braced on mount such as a bipod, tripod, vehicle mounting, or gyroscopic harness.

The various narrow bursts add +1, +3, or +5 DV; the various wide bursts provide a -2, -4, or -6 DP penalty to the defense. Which aren't particularly balanced against each other and is thus unsatisfactory.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sure, and I think I see some areas where your rules may be causing issues.

OUR RULES
  • All weapons have a STR MIN stat equal to the minimum STR required to use the weapon without penalty.
  • A number of factors can modify this stat up (requiring greater STR to wield) or down (requiring less STR to wield). I'll throw a little sample data in a moment to give you an idea.
  • If the STR MIN exceeds the character's STR by 3 or less and they elect to use the weapon anyways, then they take a -2 DP penalty per point of difference on the attack and any other action until the next Combat Turn. These penalties are cumulative.
  • If the STR MIN exceeds the character's STR by 4 or more, the weapon is effectively unusable.

Sample Modifiers
  • Firing Modes: Semi-auto is +0 for the first shot and +1 for the second. Burst-fire is +2 for the first shot and +4 for the second. Full-auto is +3 for the first attack and +6 for the second.
  • Position: Firing from a prone or braced position reduces the STR MIN by 1. Firing from a particularly off-balance or reckless position increases the STR MIN by 1 (or more if you wish to discourage egregious nonsense). Getting into such a position requires an action in our game; you can think of it as being roughly equivalent to SR4's "Ready Weapon" if that helps.
  • Gear: A bipod reduces the STR MIN by 1; a tripod or gyro-rig reduces the STR MIN by 3. Gas vent systems reduce the STR MIN by 1, but only for BF and FA.
  • Weapon Design: So this obviously isn't available to the player in the heat of the moment, but when YOU are figuring out what the appropriate values are for weapons, you need to take size and shape into account. People intuitively understand that absurdly heavy weapons require more STR, but they tend to forget the larger / more ergonomic firearms actually absorb recoil. It's not uncommon for certain rifles (like a hunting rifle) to have less kick that certain pistols (most heavy pistols and hold-out pistols).

Explanation of Mechanics: Basically you can tweak this slightly in different directions, but you do need to baseline it in such a way that it makes sense. So if humans in your universe can run around with hunting rifles without it being a comedy of errors, then you'll want to make sure that a bog-standard hunting rifle winds up with a STR MIN of 2 or 3. You can also run the math the other way, so if you want a STR of 6 to be able to rock and roll with an LMG if they trick it out with gear, then that determines what you set your FA penalties to be.

YOUR RULES
  • You mention that you're using BOD instead of STR, which seems odd, especially considering that you refer to "strength" throughout your text. I do get that despite the SR4 corebook's hilarious claims, BOD and STR usually are highly correlated, but I think you'd be better off using STR if you aren't already.
  • Your recoil numbers and DP penalties are pretty close to mine, which makes sense since we're both springboarding off of alt.War. We wound up standardizing the penalty at -2 to make it simpler, and to add a greater element of uncertainty on the attack itself. But again, we're all in the same ballpark here.
  • I think your double-recoil for heavy weapons is unnecessary. If those guns have substantially more kick, then you just set the STR MIN higher and higher until the only way for a baseline human to use them effectively is if they're already mounted / braced / whatever, while still allowing for arbitrarily strong methahumans to wield them with relative ease. But I really don't think you need an extra mechanic here unless you've got a problem in your game with folks trying to do parkour and shoot vehicular autocannons.
  • Regarding your last line about wide and narrow bursts, I'm assuming that you're using SR4 damage codes and not alt.War damage codes, because otherwise those are crazy-high. But you're absolutely right that they aren't balanced...+5 DV in SR4 is roughly equivalent to rolling 15 extra dice. I totally sympathize with what you're going through here. We tried all sorts of houserules involving DV and/or AP and/or DP before we finally decided that we didn't need that much detail, and settled on BF and FA negating a certain amount of situational penalties. Since we're pretty liberal with adverse conditions, this means that folks using those firing modes hit more often and hit harder on average, which is all we really wanted. Plus FA lets you do Suppressive Fire, Spray and Pray, etc.
Hope that helps!
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 28, 2017 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So one of the first things I did in my house rules was merge Strength and Body into one stat, called Body. And then I merged all the weapon skills in Ranged Combat, Close Combat, and Dodge and made that the Combat skill group.

It seems to make the Street Samurai a lot more effective - it's not hard to start with Body 5, Reaction 4, Agility 5, boost all three by +3 or so via 'ware, and have Combat Skill Group at 4, Ranged Combat 5, and Specialization (Automatics) for an effective DP of 16 with a smartlinked SMG out of the gate. But it's hard to say for certain because the sample characters are so badly designed that there's no good comparison.

Anyway. So Recoil is based on Body, and that's fine. It's generally set to weapon DV, -1 for longarms, -1 for weapons with stocks. Assault Rifles are generally manageable in semi-automatic mode, a typical corp guard can fire an SMG in suppression mode but it's not very accurate, and the ork street samurai does whatever he wants with just about any gun he wants.

I'm still curious about what, precisely, you're doing with BF and FA modes. Because obviously a naive porting of the SR4A rules produces weird results with DV codes going crazy. And you said you've tuned your house rules through play experience, which I'd like to tap into.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Sidebar re: Attributes & Skills

So we did something a bit different but with the same intent, which was we left STR as a discrete attribute, but BOD is now the average of AGI, REA, and STR. Folks don't have to spend points on it any longer, and it can still be augmented directly via cyberware, drugs, etc. We did the same thing with WIL on the mental side as well, and it hasn't changed the game for the worse. In any case though, if you collapsed the two into one, you should be fine.

We also condensed skills into skill groups, but not quite as radically as you did. But there's a Close Combat group (Armed, Unarmed, Throwing) and a Ranged Combat group (Firearms, Heavy, Archery) and that's all most combat folk have to worry about (and many just dip into one, because we're a bit more generous in allowing folks to default on tests). (FWIW, we did quite a bit of correction to some other skills as well...for example, each of the five spell categories is linked to a separate skill, so mages also have two skill groups that they tend to horn in on).

In both cases, it looks like we identified the same problems: 1) BOD (and WIL) as a Survival Tax, and 2) the inconsistent abstraction of skills unfairly penalizing the mundanes compared to the Awakened. I point all this out because I actually find it remarkably encouraging that diehard shadowrun GMs...despite all the issues that divide us...still apparently hate the same boneheaded design issues. Wink

Back to Shooting Things!

So back to firing modes, since you asked. And apologies in advance, but I'm going to have to give you another bulleted list to supply the context here. The tl;dr is that we wanted combat to be a bit more abstract than it is in SR4, quite a bit less fiddly, and move faster around the table. It still bogs down when we get 6-10 bodies playing the game, but for 3-5 players it actually flows reasonably quickly. I mention that because if you have a home game of two people who LOVE fiddly rules, they will hate this, and that's ok. But here's what we did:
  • There's no rolling for Initiative anymore. SR4 is already deceptively deterministic, so we just bit the bullet and go around the table from largest score to smallest. No muss no fuss, and seriously, it changes almost nothing. Ties are broken by REA > INT > EDGE > high-roll-on-a-d6-seriously-this-never-happens. This also allows ME as the GM to figure out what's going to happen when ahead of time, since I know everyone's scores. So I can have a turn sheet ready to go, and just account for exceptions when they occur.
  • Combat Turns are now 10 seconds long instead of 3. This means stuff can happen during combat, and I can make little extended tests for lockpicking with 10 second increments and fun little stuff like that. Cops showing up if you drag it out too long is suddenly a factor again. You get the idea. So that eliminates a ton of rolling and ad-hoc math, so we start combat much faster.
  • The action economy got compressed. Instead of Free / Simple / Complex, we now have Free and Basic. Most Complex actions are now Basic. Simple split in both directions. We do a lot of things where having a particular augmentation or piece of gear just flips a particular action to Free...for example, Smartlinks do that for reloading, so Street Sams never burn an action on that for the most part, it's just something that happens during the abstracted 10 second round. The big change here is that everyone gets an arbitrary number of free actions (for the most part), but only ONE basic action. That means that turns cycle quite a bit faster, and also makes everything drag out in ingame time a bit longer, because combat monsters are bringing the pain once or twice (see below) every 10 seconds, instead of 4 times every 3 seconds. But folks don't get bored and wander off because it won't be their turn for 20 minutes like they do in SR4.
  • The 'P' in 'IP' stands for "points." Along with the compression of the action economy, multiple Initiative Passes per character per Combat Turn are not a thing anymore. We still have "IP," and we kept the idea that it's a low-integer value (0, 1, 2, etc.) where bigger is better, but now it's a number of points you can spend each Combat Turn to do stuff. Stuff like jump the line and go first regardless of Initiative, get one more (but only one more!) Basic action, auto-dodge an incoming attack (as long as it allows a defense roll)...stuff like that. Most characters wind up with one or two of these to spend each turn, and have their own preferred tactics. e.g. Our sniper loves to go first because she's otherwise a bit slow, our street sam loves to double-tap people, our mage loves to auto-dodge because he's squishy, you get the idea. Except for the extra action, none of these require rolling, so things happen quickly. So Wired Reflexes 1 still gives +2 REA and +1 IP, but now that just means you creep up in the turn order because your Initiative is 2 higher, and you have a point to spend each turn to let you take an additional action...OR auto-dodge...OR blitz someone...you get the idea.

Whew. Ok. That brings us back to firing modes. So these now become more of an issue of tactics than fiddling with dice or damage.
  • SS matters because you can never use it in conjunction with an extra action.
  • SA matters because you can.
  • BF negates 1 threshold shift of situational modifiers (including the defense roll if nothing else is available...but still gets hard-countered by spending an IP to auto-dodge).
  • FA negates 2 threshold shifts (and people cheer like maniacs and feel really smart and cool when they manage to auto-dodge incoming FA). FA also enables the Suppressive Fire action (from SR4) and the Spray and Pray action (which I think we stole from After Sundown, but re-uses the alt.War grenade mechanics).

In no case are dice added or subtracted, because that slows down the game quite a bit. BF and FA can negate a success or two after the fact, but that doesn't impede the flow of combat appreciably. People don't have to keep track of DV shifts when they switch from SA to BF (which is great because it makes the whole DV vs. armor tracking simpler as well), and the player gets to reach across the table and take away a success or two when I roll for the NPC's...which again makes them feel involved, pay attention, and not wander off to play Smash Bros. And thematically when spirits or ninja trolls or whatever show up, it privileges the street same with an assault rifle over the face with a light pistol (although the face can still occasionally Han-(Called)-Shot-First someone in the club and feel like Bond. James Bond.)

Let me anticipate a possible objection: if you're used to FA having an absurdly high DV value relative to base weapon damage, this can feel like a rip-off. Please keep in mind though that in SR4 FA has a cranked-up DV because it can only happen roughly half as often as other Firing Modes (Complex vs. Simple); it needs to be roughly twice as good as the best Simple Action alternative to even be viable. We threw that out the window when we elongated the Combat Turn and compressed the action economy, so the DV values can relax and climb down off the ceiling again.

Again, I feel like I'm unintentionally trolling people by not having these in a ready-to-go PDF, so I'll move the Combat chapter to the top of the clean-up list since that's obviously of interest to you. I hope that this is helpful (even if you don't agree!) and for what it's worth, I really enjoy chatting about it.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

So my players started in a GURPS group, so they're used to fiddly. Shadowrun is a little too fiddly at points (and much to fiddly at some points, nobody wants to play a rigger because they don't want to outfit 5 drones dear god) so we're trying to eliminate some of this stuff.

Right now, we're sticking with Initiative Passes and Simple/Complex actions, but we're doing some things similar to you:
* Initiative is rolled once, at the start of combat, and is based on hits, so people can move around in order a bit. Doing really well (compared to your starting IP) grants an extra IP, and you can take a Complex Action to try to get extra IP.
* Rounds got extended to 15 seconds, and a lot of actions got reduced to Free or sometimes Simple (ie, melee).
* Everyone gets two Free actions per turn.

I'm going to propose we steal your concept of bursts reducing thresholds. It's mechanically simple and easy to explain. It also means we'll stop forgetting to add bonus DV when someone fires a narrow burst. For now, we'll keep the short/long/full difference, but that may get dropped in the future depending on how playtesting goes.

Out of curiousity, do you have any suggestions for fixing shotguns? As written, the shotgun rules are pretty much nonsense and offend me. And there's no obvious fix. On the other hand, no one uses shotguns so it doesn't matter.
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Nath
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mlangsdorf wrote:
Out of curiousity, do you have any suggestions for fixing shotguns? As written, the shotgun rules are pretty much nonsense and offend me. And there's no obvious fix. On the other hand, no one uses shotguns so it doesn't matter.
From my understanding of things, Shadowrun rules for shotgun spread overstimate that effect so much it would actually be way more realistic to completely ignore those rules and treat shotgun fire as any regular fire. To hit two human sized targets with a single shot requires both extremely long range and targets to be very close to each other.

"Better" rules for shotguns could really be as simple as "divide Called Shot, Small Target and Mini Target modifiers by two" and "characters grappling or grappled by the target get hit too."


Last edited by Nath on Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:
From my understanding of things, Shadowrun rules for shotgun spread overstimate that effect so much it would actually be way more realistic to completely ignore those rules and treat shotgun fire as any regular fire.

This.

On paper we just re-use the Spray & Pray rules and say the targets have to be in a 1-2 meter area, but honestly no one has ever wanted to try it. Ignoring it entirely would be simpler, and you wouldn't lose anything of value.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Nath wrote:

"Better" rules for shotguns could really be as simple as "divide Called Shot, Small Target and Mini Target modifiers by two" and "characters grappling or grappled by the target get hit too."


That's simple and sensible and makes shotguns useful for hunting small game. Or as a backup weapon for a non-sammie who is going up against armored targets and wants to pull off headshots.

The usual reason for bringing shotguns in modern games is variety of ammo, but alt.War seems to imply that you can get most of the weird loads for all your guns so that's less useful.
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mlangsdorf
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Thinking about modifying recoil slightly:

Every weapon has a Str (or Body) minimum and a Recoil number. Str is the minimum Str to use the weapon without penalty in SA mode, once per IP.

Firing modes and Effective Recoil:
SS: Half recoil (round up), -1.
SA: Half recoil (round up) for the second shot in the same IP.
Short burst: Recoil.
Long burst: 1.5x Recoil (round up).
Full auto: triple recoil.

If Minimum Str + Recoil is more than Str, you take penalties.

This is exactly the same as the existing alt.War rules if the Recoil is 2, which it is for most weapons.

Basically, lets you have weapons like medium machine guns or SAWs, that are just heavy to start (and have a high Str minimum) but have manageable recoil because their kick isn't that much for their weight, or light weight weapons like hold-out pistols and machine pistols that are manageable in semi-auto mode but are completely useless in full auto. It also meas that very rapid fire weapons like gatlings can have more kick.

Speaking of, does anyone have a good solution for gatlings? It's another unsatisfying thing in the current rules.
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JesterZero
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

mlangsdorf wrote:
This is exactly the same as the existing alt.War rules if the Recoil is 2, which it is for most weapons.

I think you've left the path and gone into the weeds here.

I get that this gives you additional granularity, but at the cost of attaching yet another statistic to every firearm, and another calculation to every moment in combat where someone just wants to shoot someone. If you're considering this just because you think machine pistols are getting off easy, then keep in mind that in addition to the mechanical tax you're putting on all machine-pistol-toting characters, you're also levying a cognitive tax on all gun-toting players.

Now, cards on the table, I'm a reductionist when it comes to Shadowrun rules; I think SR has way too many disparate mechanics already. If you disagree...ok. Some people juggle geese. You do you.

But setting that aside for the moment and looking at these as they are, your math for full auto probably isn't doing what you really want it to do.

A triple recoil multiplier on FA means that the "you must be this burly to use this gun" goalpost moves in increments of 3 every time you increment up or down, assuming you're using integer values. That's a heck of a shift when the entire range for "crazy strong human" is only about 3 as well (i.e. 7-9 if you're playing SR4...a whopping 7-10 if you're playing SR5). That means for actually differentiating heavy guns, you're basically back to fiddling with the STR MIN values and leaving recoil alone...which brings me back wondering how much value this rule really adds.
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