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Thread: Help with Shadowrun

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    Help with Shadowrun

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    Let me just start by saying I'm new to this whole RPG scene. I just bought Shadowrun 4th edition awhile ago and the rules are absurdly complicated. I'm used to playing D+D and using d20s, and using d6s isn't all that difficult. But there are so many checks and dice rolls in this game! I tried to read about how to throw a grenade and I got a headache from the sheer complexity of it all. I really like the setting and some of the mechanics are pretty neat, but is there another way I can play this game without the needlessly intricate rules?
    Last edited by RPG n00b; 01-04-2010 at 02:07 AM.

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    Sadly, the needlessly complicated rules are what, for me, make shadowrun an enjoyable game. I find D&D too simplistic,and because of that it's lacking in many ways. Shadowrun is clunky but you end up with a realistic combat that is a lot of fun. I have more experience with earlier editions, which were even more complicated. So someone else might be able to help you out more on the rules side. But you can cut down on a lot of the complication just by not requiring rolls so often. In Shadowrun you are playing professionals, you can assume that they can accomplish most tasks they are hired to do.

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    Do you know how grenades are supposed to work?

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    Are you using the 20th Anniversary edition (SR4a) or the older 4th (SR4)? SR4a has had a lot of rewriting and clarification, especially in the Hacker area but also in other parts of the book.

    In reviewing Grenades (sr4a.155), it seems pretty clear.

    Ranged attack is an opposed test: your Agility + Weapon Skill (throwing weapons) + and modifiers vs your opponent's Reaction + modifiers.

    See this to help.

    So if you have 5 Agility + 4 Throwing Weapons, you get a base of 9d6.
    Your opponent has a 4 Reaction for a base of 4d6.

    Say Attacker: 5 successes, Defender: 2 successes. The more successes for the Attacker, the better as each net hit (3 in this case) is reduced from the scatter roll. This determines the accuracy of the throw.

    Say the scatter roll is a 4. This means the grenade is off target by 1 meter (4 - 3). If you'd rolled a 3 or lower, the grenade would have landed on target.

    Next is to roll for which direction the grenade went from the target. Roll a 1d6 again. Say a 6. Looking at the table on sr4a.155, the direction is behind and to the left 1 meter based on the scatter roll.

    Make better sense?

    Carl

    Edit: In looking at the SR4 rules (sr4.145), it doesn't look much different than sr4a except that it's -2 per net hit in sr4 and -1 per net hit in sr4a. So they're a bit less accurate

    Ohh, and in sr4 net hits beyond what it takes to drop scatter is added to the DV but in sr4a, extra net hits are dropped.
    Last edited by Freejack; 01-05-2010 at 07:05 PM.
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
    The Denver RPG Group - My Shadowrun Site - My Shadowrun Blog - Shadowrun Mooks
    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


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    once you get the hang of it, SR4 will be easy. Its no d20 but its not supposed to be.

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    Start with the basics. Task resolution, shooting stuff. Ignore the parts that are complicated to you at first. Add in a new rule every week. Learn it with your group. It's basically similar to the New World of Darkness system, with 2 extra rolls in each exchange. In no time you'll be customizing drones, hacking corporations, and tackling astral combat like any regular chummer. Every game has a learning curve (for instance, there are many nuances to D&D, you are just more familiar with them...).

    If you want to trade out systems, you might want to Google FATE 3.0 and see an elegant system that focuses more on story and less on fiddly-bits.
    Shadowrun has so much awesome fluff and imagery you could probably use the setting material for almost any system you wanted to port it over to.

    Keep it real...
    Trentin C Bergeron (TreChriron)
    Bard, Dreamer & RPG Enthusiast
    October Northwest

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    Ok thanks Techriron, I'll do that. Now does anyone know how health is supposed to work? I'm just using the original SR4 book.

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    Do what I'll be doing if I end up running Shadowrun. Go to www.ironcrown.com go to their store. Order & D/L Cyberspace (not sure cost) , order either the print or PDF version of Rolemaster Express ($10+postage) , plus maybe a few Express Additions to fill gaps or Rolemaster Classic PDFs instead , if you want more options but Express should work fine with a few EAs. Then take a few rules from SR that might not be covered in Cyberspace or RMEx. It should work fine.

    Cyberspace was ICE's cyberpunk RPG , just ignore the fluff & replace with SR world info instead. Cyberspace is a rules-lite version of ICE's Spacemaster 2 (available as PDFs). Only issue will be coming up with development point costs for mages/shamans & the adept. Rolemaster Express is the rules-lite version of Rolemaster Classic & should work well with Cyberspace. Just won't be able to use the professions in RMEx or the EAs unless you use Spacemaster2 professions instead of cyberspaces social class/profession development system. But both rules sets(CS & RMEx) use similar rules for everything else in the game.

    Concerning magic : You may want to get a few EAs to expand the magic options from the base RMEx book & possibly expand to Rolemaster Classic's spell Law if you ant more spell options.

    Concerning monsters: Creatures & Treasures for RMC are available if you don't just want to convert the Creatures in SR books. MY RM2/C GM converts D&D monsters on the fly for RMC so it shouldn't be too hard to do it for SR.

    Another argument for a Cyberspace/RMEx hybrid is it fits the flavor of Shadowrun with out having to learn alot of complex rules. All rolls are % based. You take skill total + % roll +/- situational modifiers= sum to check against table (such as attack or manuever table). Occasionally a result will need a stat check instead or another roll on either a critical or fumble chart.
    Last edited by Lucifer_Draconus; 01-07-2010 at 05:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RPG n00b View Post
    Ok thanks Techriron, I'll do that. Now does anyone know how health is supposed to work? I'm just using the original SR4 book.
    You have two "health" bars one is 8+1/2 your body attribute and the other is based on willpower but I dont remember the formula. If its physcial damage it is applied to the body health bar, if it is stun damage it is applied to the willpower health bar.

    Combat is 90% of the time like the following
    1.Everyone Rolls initiative play proceeds in order people with multiple actions go only once and wait for everyone before going again. So instead of having a Fighter attack at +15/+10/+5 all at the same time he goes with the +15 then waits for everyone before attacking with the +10.

    2. The attacker then rolls d6 equal to his attribute+skill-/+any modifiers (range/wounds), he needs 5+, count all the 5+

    3. The defender rolls a dodge (same idea as the attacker) if he gains equal or more successes the attack misses

    4. If the defender did not succeed, calculate damage by taking the attackers successes over the defenders and adding the weapon damage

    5. The defender tries to soak (attribute+armor) need 5+ again. Any extra damage goes to your damage track (about 9-15 pts, period) for every 3 pts of damage you take you take a -1 wound penalty to all actions.

    For cheat sheets go here http://pavao.org/shadowrun/cheatsheets/ they will go step by step through everything and not gloss over it like I just did.


    The basics of SR4 are just a easy as d20.
    d20 roll a d20 modifed by the following attribute mod+skill rank+ any bonus. Try to get equal to or higher than a number set by the DM
    SR4 take a number of d6s equal to attribute+skill+/- any modifiers. Try to roll 5+ and count the number of dice that you got 5+ on.

    The only big difference is the DM is calculating the number you need to hit for you rather than it giving or taking away dice from your pool.
    Last edited by MortonStromgal; 01-07-2010 at 11:34 PM.
    Playing: Pathfinder
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    I played Shadowrun v1 to v3 for about 7 years. Yea, the rules are complex, but once you get the hang of it, it goes a lot quicker. As a player, just concentrate on YOUR role. If it's magic, worry about the magic. If it's cyber, worry about cyber. Ditto for riggers and deckers (hackers now I think). Ignore the rest.

    Figure out what works best and worst for you and adjust. Eventually, your expertise will start crossing into the realms of the other archtypes and races and you'll figure out what the best thing to do for you to help or hurt them.

    There's a lot of micro-management in Shadowrun (at least in up to 3rd ed) but you'll find it allows you to tweak your character in ways you had no idea. Most of combat is just rolling a whop-load of d6's against a target number your GM tells you.

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    With the older editions, it's dice and target number. With 4th, 5's and 6's are successes and the target number is the number of successes needed.

    So In 3rd, you'd have a target of 8. Then roll the ungodly number of dice in the hopes of getting a few sixes. Sixes explode so you'd roll those again. If you rolled a 2 or higher you'd succeed. In combat you'd up the damage level of the weapon for every 2 successes I think.

    In 4th, you'd still roll ungodly dice. The target may be 10 (or other GM calculated number) but you'd count the number of 5's and 6's. If you rolled 10 of them, you succeeded. In combat, extra is added to the weapon's damage value.

    Carl
    GMing: Shadowrun 4th
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    I also administer the Mosaic and Stained Glass forums if you happen to be artistic


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    Whenever I'm breaking into a new game, I find it easiest to just start playing with the rules as you understand them. Encourage everyone in the group to do their homework, and slowly integrate the complex rules into the game.

    I recently started running the Denver Shadowrun Missions campaign with some people new to RPGs, and some just new to Shadowrun. We played the first couple of runs with just a basic understanding of the rules, and then slowly added in modifiers and more complex rules to add depth.

    Also, I really suggest that you have your players keep to the core book for their first characters. It'll prevent a lot of headaches.

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    I found the base system (skill tests and such) pretty easy to pick up. Sure, you could be rolling a bucket of d6s, but you don't have to add them up, you just separate out the 5s and 6s and then count the number of dice. In the game I played (with people who'd never played SR before), it went very quickly.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around the Maxtrix, Hacking, and the Magic system. I'm hoping I'll find some people to play with with experience in those areas. I learn games better by playing them rather than just reading the rules.

    Love the fluff though. If you invest anymore money into it, I HIGHLY recommend Seattle 2072.
    JediSoth
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    My heart goes out to all SR GMs out there. I don't know how you handle it...I could never do it. Just thinking about GMing for a hacker makes my brain explode. But playing SR is great, so keep it up!

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    I felt the VR2/SR3 matrix system was pretty strait forward and simple
    roll computer+hack pool or just computer
    vs a target number determind by the system rating minus your program rating.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


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