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Game Archives => The District => Inactive Games => Archives => Topic started by: raikenclw on September 06, 2009, 03:01:56 AM

Title: Shadowrun Stuff
Post by: raikenclw on September 06, 2009, 03:01:56 AM
I'm using this thread as a notepad to save stuff that I'm working on for my new game . . .

Anyone who's going to play in that game who reads the stuff here should be aware that the material in this thread is very much a "work in progress," so don't take any of it as Gospel, until it's been re-posted in the appropriate location.
Title: Re: Shadowrun Stuff
Post by: raikenclw on September 06, 2009, 03:02:07 AM

Those familiar with Second Edition Shadowrun will find a lot of the terms and usage here familiar, as I have made a conscious effort to incorporate as much of the original game as possible while avoiding confusion and still converting everything into Cortex System terms.  Total newbies should have no special problems with the below.  But old hands should be aware that three more or less significant changes have been made:

1) Stun Versus Wound: Mana Spells do Stun damage.  Physical Spells do Wound damage.  Note that this does not mean that you can't kill a spirit entity (which can only be affected by Mana spells).  It just means that it's rather hard to do.  You must really hit it, so that the excess Stun points you inflict get converted into Shock Points.  Enough Shock Points will (eventually) kill anything.

2) Only One Type Of Adept: This is what Shadowrun called a Physical Adept.  In place of the now-gone Magical Adept, these rules use a special version of the Talented Asset to reflect magic-users whose magical abilities are more narrowly focused than normal.  There is no longer the (always senseless to me) restriction that "magical" adepts can't sense the astral plane.  Partly, I did this because sensing the astral plane was arguably the only thing you could magically do, pre-Awakening.  But I also did this because of the way I've decided to conflate mundane and astral spell casting (see below).

3) All Spell Casting Is Astral Spell Casting: All spells function through the astral presence of an object or individual.  This is why Mana spells only work on conscious entities; they subtly change auras, rather than simply use them as funnels to pour astral energy into the target's physical form.

Alright, now that this is out of the way . . .

There are three Disciplines for magic-users in Cortex Shadowrun: the Shamanic, the Hermetic and the Adept.  In-game, the Discipline of any particular magic-using character is (of course) chosen for him by Higher Powers.  Out-of-game, that character's player is this Higher Power.  Be aware that the Discipline chosen applies for the life of the character.  There is no going back.

Shamanic: A character who chooses this Discipline becomes a shaman.  Shamans re

Mage: This practitioner follows the Hermetic Tradition, called that because most mages tend to be hermits


The Talented (Magic) Asset

Although Categories and Spells are treated in most ways as if they are General Skills and their associated Specialties, this is done to simplify game mechanics, not because these estoric abilities really resemble mundane ones very much.  So it should come as no surprise that when it's applied to magic, the Talented Asset works somewhat differently than it does normally.

A Mage or Shaman can be initially created as Talented in one (1) of the various Categories of magic.  In the case of a Shaman, the type must be one of those Categories (if any) already favored by his or her Totem.  Talented (Magic) Minor allows the practitioner a +3 Step to any roll involving that Category of magic; if purchased at the Major level, any time you spend Plot Points on such a roll, you are treated as if you had spent two (2) additional points.  For a Shaman, these benefits stack with any which his Totem already grants for that Category.

However, where magic is involved, being Talented is not without it's drawbacks.  A Talented Mage suffers a -1 Step penalty on rolls involving any other Category of magic.  Also, if Talented at the Major level, when spending Plot Points on rolls involving other Categories of magic, the Mage is treated as if they spent one (1) point less than they actually did.  In the case of a Talented Shaman, neither penalty applies to rolls using any Category which his Totem favors, but any rolls involving Categories which his Totem does not favor.   

Being Talented or not is a permanent fixture of a character; it can not be either added or removed later.  So choose wisely . . .     
Title: Re: Shadowrun Stuff
Post by: raikenclw on September 07, 2009, 05:05:26 AM

The decision to implant cyberware is a life-changing event for the character involved, which brings with it three unavoidable Complications.  The game effects of these are detailed here, but players will note that Trait Point values are not given for them.  This is because their effect on the Trait Point costs of all implants have already been taken into account, when pricing said implants (which is why implant prices are so low, for the benefits they grant):

Compromised Aura - Replacing portions of a character's meat body with foreign objects is traumatic to his aura.  While this is especially important for magic-users (see the Magic rules), it's not something to be taken too lightly by mundanes, either.  It makes it more difficult to defend against magic, since his tattered aura makes him a bigger and easier target for Spells, both Mana and Physical.  For every four (4) Trait Points spent on standard implants, the implanted character suffers a -1 Step when defending against Magic.

Vulnerability To EMP - Implant circuitry is not robust enough to withstand electromagnetic pulses of any strength.  Even a Troll's body mass won't stop radiation very well.  If a character's implants are knocked out of action this way, they stay out of action until their motherboards can be pulled and replaced (which generally requires serious surgery).

Nonhealing - Related to the one above, this Complication means that any damage taken to an implant requires special skills, equipment and (expensive) parts in order to restore it to full function (or get it to work at all, depending on the level of damage).

For the purpose of determining maximum allowed Traits, a character's implants (no matter the number or nature) are regarded as a single Asset called "Cyberware."

Further Modification Of Cyberware Trait Point Costs

There are three additional possible alterations to the Trait Point cost of a given character's implants.  These may or may not apply, depending on the decisions the player makes about the precise nature of the implants and the manner in which the character acquired them.

1) Concealment: Unless otherwise specified, the listed Trait Point cost for all implants assume that the systems are either fully internal or are fairly easy to conceal from unaided vision through such elemental efforts as long sleeves or sunglasses (a cyberarm covered in flesh-toned silicon).  In general, changing an implant to make it harder to conceal (a stainless-steel cyberarm) reduces it's Trait Point cost by one (1) point.  If the change makes the implant extremely obvious (a chromed cyberarm with non-retractible spikes . . .), the Trait Point cost is reduced by two (2) points.  On the other hand, a change that makes the implant easier to conceal (a cyberarm covered in Synthfleshtm) increases the Trait Point cost by one (1) point.

2) Bioware: A character's implants are normally considered to be bits of metal and micocircuitry implanted into meat.  But for the past decade or so (starting around 2060), a different sort of modification has started to show up on the street.  This has become known as "bioware," biological systems which have been "revved up" using advanced chemistry and genetic manipulation to perform at levels approximating those formally achievable only with hardware.  Bioware offers a few unique (if costly) implants and also most of the standard implants can be taken in a bioware version . . . if the character can find a way to pay the extra cost in Trait Points.  By its very nature, bioware is pretty much undetectable (short of a sophisticated medical exam).  It also avoids Vulnerability To EMP entirely and although it's a bit more delicate than regular flesh, it isn't Nonhealing and has only a minor effect on aura.  The upshot is that a bioware version of a standard implant costs three (3) times the listed base cost in Trait Points, but only affects the character's aura as if it had cost one-third (round down) that base cost.

3) Linked Background Complications: The manner in which a character acquired his cybernetic modifications may allow him to choose specific Complications and use the negative Trait Points thus gained to partially or completely offset the positive cost of his implants.  This is referred to as a Trait Bundle.  For example, if the cybernetics were implanted by a megacorporation and the PC has since "unofficially resigned" from his position in that 'corp, the Wanted Complication could be linked to his implants.  On the other hand, if he is still working for the 'corp, the Ironclad Contract Complication could be similarly linked, plus the Secret Complication (if he's working undercover).  The total negative Trait Point value of all linked Complications reduces the total positive TP value of all implants (not the individual implant costs).  As above, the entire Bundle (all implants plus all linked Complications) counts as a single Trait, for the purposes of the character's maximum allowed number of Traits.  The Bundle will count as either an Asset or a Complication, depending upon final point value.  Should this equal exactly zero, the Bundle will be regarded as an Asset by default.

Title: Re: Shadowrun Stuff
Post by: raikenclw on September 09, 2009, 03:48:25 AM

Descriptive text quoted from Studies in Awakened Biology, Third Edition, Revised, by Eileen Van Buren and Peter Carmine, published in 2059, by Modern Information Services, Atlanta (CAS).


Dwarf Racial Bundle


Dwarves stand about waist-high to most chummers, so there're a lot of things they have trouble reaching.  On the bright side, they're a smaller target in the cross hairs and the typical flophouse "efficiency" gives them a very generous amount of space.

Penalty: Your character is no more than four (4) feet tall.  A slight benefit to this is that opponents attacking him with a ranged weapon across more than one (1) five-foot square take an extra -1 Step penalty to their action roll.  But being so short is mostly a downer: Base speed is reduced to ten (10) feet (two squares) per turn, he suffers a -2 Step to all rolls made to accomplish any special Movement actions and he often has to have clothing and personal gear custom-made (if he wants to avoid embarrassment and possible Step penalties).  A dwarf's short stature may present other challenges, but may also offer unique opportunities (both as determined by me).

You’re still something other than a standard Homo sapiens sapiens.  But still yet, you're close enough to baseline human appearance to "pass" . . . as far as the more cosmopolitan chummers are concerned, anyway.  While many folk feel a bit uneasy around you, only really dedicated racists go out of their way to pick on you.

Penalty: The Dwarf body type makes the character easily recognizable, giving others a +2 Step Alertness bonus when trying to spot him in any crowd composed mostly of baseline humans.  Unless they have actual experience interacting with them, baseline humans tend to see dwarves in terms of the racial stereotype (Greedy and Stingy) popularized by the media.  Your character could even frighten such folk, just because he's so obviously different.  Thus, a Dwarf suffers a -2 Step penalty to social interaction rolls with baseline humans, in situations where his race is obvious or otherwise becomes known.   Highly insular people, those already prejudiced against metahumans and your basic garden-variety assholes will all target your Dwarf for abuse ahead of any “normal” companions.
Special Effects: Interactions with fellow shadowrunners and Mr. Johnson are generally unaffected by the penalty given above, as such folk have seen plenty of stuff stranger than your character.  Also, this Complication is similar enough to the Memorable Complication that a Dwarf is only allowed to possess both if his player can define whatever is Memorable about the PC as something unrelated to his being a Dwarf.

Healthy As A Horse [Major]

Heavy Tolerance [Minor], +2 Steps to Strength, +1 Step to Willpower, Thermographic Vision, +2 Step to


Elf Racial Bundle


Human Racial Bundle


Ork Racial Bundle


Troll Racial Bundle