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HMS Invincible
2010-11-19, 01:17 AM
We just started our 3rd campaign in addition to our d&d and L5R campaigns, and this game makes me cry. I roll 13 die, 9 for my agility and 4 for my stealth, and I get 2 success... No explosion mechanic, no critting, only glitches and critical glitches. Cursed [email protected] =\

I'm reading the manual, and it says not to specialize or get screwed, so I decide to be a stealthy rogue. 40 points in the stealth group, maxed out agi, reaction and intuition. I put a few points in driving and flying, and spend the rest on long arms skill, and some Body attribute. I end up captured, and running for my life in a medieval castle with a crazy hunter chasing me. Chances are I'll die, but I might escape by some miracle.

Past the complaining, what is everyone's opinion of shadowrun 4e? The fluff is alright, and combat is deadly, as most modern games are. Buying a permanent lifestyle is a total waste of cash, especially if one can die so easily. There's no double [email protected] wtf?
Questions:
I specialized in long arms, is that a good way to quickly dispatch people?
Why did no one tell me about initiative passes, aka celerity, and how do I get them?

DragonBaneDM
2010-11-19, 01:27 AM
I can be of assistance. Love this game, though it's second in my heart.

In relation to the initiative passes: drugs and robot parts. Get cyberware. It's nasty, it really is. Wired Reflexes especially.

Other than that I recommend Jet. It's a drug that packs an extra intiative pass, but crashing sucks.

Oh, and you can spend a point of edge at the beginning of a round to gain an extra pass. They're gold. Multiple moves? Who doesn't want that???

And fooy-ee, don't specialize. I roll 20 dice for my Troll Adept's to hit. It's not a teamwork game, which is sad to say. There's no healing nor marking, so it's just rocket tag. Outdamage the "bad guys", and you win.

Of course, first you have to outthink them, which is rough. That's where magic and hacking come in. You seem rogue-ish though. Your job is killing.

Longarms work, just never try to be good with more than two things for killing. Trust me here. I made a dwarf who was supposed to be a jack of all trades weapons specialist. He ended up sucking. Badly.

What's your team's make up?

Hawriel
2010-11-19, 01:39 AM
Are you compairing this to D&D? If so that might be your problem. They are two very different games.

How is shadowrun not a team work oriented game? You cant do a run unless you work well with a team.

HMS Invincible
2010-11-19, 01:45 AM
All of us except 1 guy has some stealth. One stealthy guy has initiative passes and punches with magical? fists.
Cyborg guy has a shotgun in his leg and a katana.
Also got a Drone specialist, he got us in the trouble in the first place.
We have another actual mage, he casted mob mind and invisibility.

I'm pretty screwed since they took my stuff when they captured me, and my team is gone. On the plus side, they got the prize and received the reward money. The paranoia side of the game really hurts us though. Getting captured or spied on means you have to be really careful using said person.

GoodbyeSoberDay
2010-11-19, 01:47 AM
Are you compairing this to D&D? If so that might be your problem. They are two very different games.

How is shadowrun not a team work oriented game? You cant do a run unless you work well with a team.Combat isn't team focused, because combat is supposed to be for when everything goes wrong.

DragonBaneDM
2010-11-19, 01:52 AM
Are you compairing this to D&D? If so that might be your problem. They are two very different games.

How is shadowrun not a team work oriented game? You cant do a run unless you work well with a team.

I compare everything to DnD. :smallbiggrin:

You should try playing Ultimate Frisbee with me.

The Precentor
2010-11-19, 02:15 AM
Well as a Shadowrun fan, I'll come out of lurking to finally post here. As far as the dice mechanics go, if you use edge before the dice roll, then you get to add your edge to your dice pool, reroll misses, and 6s explode, so if it's a particularly important test, then spending edge is a good way to generate a higher number of hits than your character normally would.

In terms of Shadowrun 4e, the general consensus (there are a ton of dissenters out there) is that 4e has the simplest and cleanest ruleset, but has the worst fluff. Shadowrun 1st and 2nd are generally recognized as having the best fluff with a lot of unpopular fluff changes happening in 3rd and 4th. I can go into more depth with regards to the fluff changes that have happened between 1989 and 2010 if you want, but it'll probably get a little grognardy. As such, while the vast majority of shadowrun groups play 4th (with the occasional 3rd holdouts), a lot of groups take fluff cues from the earlier editions.

As far as movement goes, movement counts as a once per turn free action and you can choose to move at either walking or running speed, although running adds a penalty to combat actions. In addition you can spend a simple action to sprint, which allows you to add extra distance to your running movement rate, which makes sprinting similar to double moving, although there is no way to take two move actions in a single turn in shadowrun.

Longarms is the most diverse weapon skill and longarms have the highest off the shelf damage potential. After accounting for modifications, automatics have the highest damage potential (ignoring heavy weapons).

Initiative Passes can be gained in the following ways:

1. Magic-Adepts and Magicians have access to magic that increases the number of initiative passes. Unfortunately if you're playing a mundane character and don't have a magician friend who knows the right spells, then this method is going to be off limits to you.

2. Cybernetic Augmentation-The Wired Reflexes cyberware and Synaptic Boosters bioware both increase your number of initiative passes. Unfortunately having wired reflexes installed is a long and painful process and having synaptic boosters installed is a long and time consuming process, so unless you get a decent chunk of in game downtime before runs or buy these during character creation, then heavy cybernetic augmentation is also probably not going to work.

3. Combat Drugs-Although they aren't as effective as magic or cybernetic augmentation, drugs are the easiest rout to go down for a character who finished character creation without any way to gain extra initiative passes. Cram and Jazz are honestly probably your best bet. Side effects include hyperactivity and paranoia.

Tehnar
2010-11-19, 07:55 AM
Ill just post a few random comments.

You really shouldn't hard max your attributes at character creation, since that uses up way too many BP. And I think you can hard max only one attribute at start anyway, as per rules.

It usually doesn't pay to be a specialist in on skill. Having a diverse skill array really helps, and its ok if skills between team members overlap. Use your skills to your advantage, find ways in which you can use them. That said Infiltration, Hardware, Negotiation and Perception are generally the more useful skills out there.

kestrel404
2010-11-19, 09:07 AM
With sufficient cyber and bioware, you don't really need to specialize. Ranks in skill are not especially necessary when you're rolling 10-15 dice from your attribute.

Then buy skillsofts. Seriously, nobody values skillsofts highly enough. They're awesome. It's like paying cash for skills instead of karma (xp).

Oracle_Hunter
2010-11-19, 01:11 PM
We just started our 3rd campaign in addition to our d&d and L5R campaigns, and this game makes me cry. I roll 13 die, 9 for my agility and 4 for my stealth, and I get 2 success... No explosion mechanic, no critting, only glitches and critical glitches. Cursed [email protected] =\
You just have no luck with RPGs, do you? :smalltongue:

Does SR4 really tell you not to specialize? 'cause that's pretty much the opposite of the received wisdom from every previous generation of SR - as you've found out.

At least there are no Vampires-in-Giant-Robots or nuclear railguns around this time :smallamused:

Tehnar
2010-11-19, 01:34 PM
I use the optional rule that max hits on a test is limited by skill rank x2. And skills are not that expensive to raise, compared to the attributes, and some advanced form of ware (when the essence loss begins to be felt).

Coidzor
2010-11-19, 03:41 PM
Other than that I recommend Jet. It's a drug that packs an extra intiative pass, but crashing sucks.

Jet? You mean the mutated cow **** fumes? :smalleek: They put that into the game? Whoa.

HMS Invincible
2010-11-20, 03:34 AM
I'm getting conflicting messages on whether to specialize or not. Which skills are good to buy as a group and which skills are best off spending on individual skills? I thought I was getting a deal since stealth encompasses 4 things, and all 4 of them seemed important regarding stealth.

I'll keep in mind the cyberware/augments for future characters.
PS, I'm tearing it up at D&D, so I'm at least 1 for 4. =P I get in trouble when I have to learn new systems, each with different emphasis. I hate it especially when I find out there's GOD DAMNED CELERITY in so many game systems, and I didn't know about it.

BobVosh
2010-11-20, 07:19 AM
How about the fact that there is three versions of celerity for SR4? You have the biopump one (no clue what its called), wired reflexes, and one for matrix passes.

As far as specializing goes: Specialize in a role. Be the tech guy, the muscle, the face, etc. Don't overspecialize in a skill, but do specialize in several mechanics that would work well together. You don't want to only be good if you are near a terminal, or placing sniper rounds in unsuspecting heads from 200-400 feet. Be very good at what you do, but do several things to recap.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-11-20, 12:37 PM
Yeah, SR is a "black ops" style game - you assemble a team of specialists to accomplish a mission. In general, everyone should be competent at:

- Killing
- Not Dying

If you plan to be as active in the field (as it sounds like you are) you should also be competent at:

- "Athletics" (e.g. climbing, jumping, swimming)
- Hiding

Once you have that set, figure out what niche you need to fill and pick your skills & gear appropriately. Sample Niches:

- Breaking & Entering : being able to crack a maglock, scale a wall or blow it up.

- Alarm Neutralization : this means being able to suppress electronic (and, ideally, magical) alarms as well as being very good at the quiet kill.

- Fire Support : sometimes your chummers just needs someone around to neutralize the opposition. Being able to maneuver yourself into a sniper's nest and rain down destruction upon the heads of your enemies is a valuable role to fill on any 'run :smallbiggrin:

MrLich
2010-11-20, 06:47 PM
I have to agree with most of the responses here. My favorite game of all time was an SR4 game based half of the Harlequin module and half off original capaign. Like previous posters have said specialize in your role. I was the magician who handle damn near all the magic stuff (occasional help from our adept gunslinger) but who's only "real" specilization was in elven wines because we has the stereotypical snooty elf.

Also the only one in the party who paid (and recieved the benefits of) a wealthy lifestyle. My dm permitted me to make purchases and have on hand some semi-expensive things solely because I paid the BP to have the nice lifestyle. Of course RP wise I taught at a university and spent years writing a few books between down time and in between adventures.

As far as initiative passes go yes there essential. Get wired reflexes or the spell equivalent if you're a Mage type.

Kalaska'Agathas
2010-11-20, 08:08 PM
I'd have to say specialization is good. I'm playing in my first SR4 campaign, and I'm really enjoying my Hacker/Gunbunny. He's pretty specialized into his Hacking and Shooting, but he's competent as a face and a sneak and has pretty good armor to boot (and excellent Gymnastics dodge, so I don't get hit often). So specialization is good, but you don't have to specialize into one thing to the extremes that are possible (Pornomancers rolling 50 dice for their social checks, for example). Like my Gunbunny Hacker, you can be good at one or two things and alright at several others.

That said, I did not enjoy figuring out all his 'wares and gear when I created him (it took me about two days to figure out what I wanted and how to make it fit). I just think character creation is awfully complicated, and I don't know the system as well as I do 3.5/PF so I'm constantly searching for the rules of "How to do x".

But, I'm having lots of fun. I think the skill system is great, even though it's complicated, as it allows all sorts of hi-jinks (like our infiltrator and resident pink-mohawk riding on top of the Rigger's van and then jumping inside it at 50 mph, or my character's convincing an enemy drone that its pilot was a target, and our Rigger's van was not).

Tehnar
2010-11-20, 08:45 PM
When I said don't specialize, I meant don't go for getting 20+ dice on a single thing. I think its far better for your main "thing" to be around 12-15 dice, things you are good at to be at 9-12, and things you do alright at 6-8.

I on the other hand prefer such level of customization in my characters, and don't mind spending 2 days making a character. Though my rigger took two weeks to create, but I enjoy it.

Kalaska'Agathas
2010-11-20, 08:56 PM
Oh, creating a character only took me a couple of hours. It was figuring out his 'wares, how much it cost, how much essence it would drain, how much capacity it took up, and what happens if I go for alphaware or second hand cyber (squicky, but cheap, and second hand alphaware is the same price as standardware but costs less essence!), what exactly it all did, and then figuring out my dice pools was a bit of a chore. That said, it's getting easier, with my second character I'm building (My PC's NPC sister, actually (I took the 'Dependent' Negative Quality)), because I know where things are and all of that. So it might just have been my unfamiliarity with the system.

HMS Invincible
2010-11-21, 03:40 PM
How do I do the math for the dice rolls since there is no static bonuses? Can I simply take 1/3 of my dice as the average?

Kaun
2010-11-21, 05:47 PM
I compare everything to DnD. :smallbiggrin:

You should try playing Ultimate Frisbee with me.

I spat coffee on my keyboard.

Tehnar
2010-11-21, 07:00 PM
Yeah 1/3 of your dice pool is considered to be a average, but all dice will be treacherous.

You can buy hits for 4 to 1 when the GM allows you to.

avr
2010-11-21, 07:30 PM
My opinion on the drugs for initiative passes - don't do it. There are two reasons for this, first you never seem to be using them when it matters, and second there are rules which encourage the GM to screw over repeat users. Just get wired reflexes or synaptic enhancers.

HMS Invincible
2010-12-10, 01:24 AM
Alright, I finally died after being tortured by being placed as a character in one bad movie after another until I died.

Is it possible to skimp on my agility, and full auto people by using my edge? I mean declare full auto, reduce down to a chance die. Then, apply my 7-8 edge die(haven't decided yet) to rip someone apart. Does that work?

DeltaEmil
2010-12-10, 01:59 AM
Yes, you'd just not be allowed to reroll any six, if your initial dice pool was reduced to zero and below, and you'd have to use edge for a longshot.

Of course, the gm might disallow that on the ground of abusing the longshot edge rule, so don't solely rely on that.

Zen Master
2010-12-10, 02:58 AM
Jet? You mean the mutated cow **** fumes? :smalleek: They put that into the game? Whoa.

What are you on about, a cow? Now don't come tellin' me that's some sorta one-headed brahmin, stranger :p