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    Default Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    So I've just started up a Shadowrun 4th ed. game, heavy on character and roleplaying (for a SR game, anyway), so I want to make the game less dangerous for characters. I assumed that if I slightly dumbed down the relevant combat abilities of adversaries, when they do fight, then I could keep the game from being too lethal to bother with a character background.

    What I'm finding is that even very basic opponents, if played cleverly, and present in a 1 or 1.5/1 ratio, can blow through a player in just a couple of rounds; but if I subtract from their ability any further the encounter becomes farcical.

    Has anyone had any success reducing the lethality of Shadowrun 4th but kept the challenge, or at least the illusion of challenge?

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Shadowrun is supposed to be lethal, the best I can think of is to reduce enemy Build Points and lower attributes and skills. Perhaps give the enemies inferior equipment; homebrew crappy guns and armor if you have to.

    IMO, lethality is the name of the game in ShadowRun.

    Rule #1 Don't get in fire fights
    Rule #2 If you do get in a firefight, get behind cover 5 minutes ago.
    Rule #3 End fire fights ASAP; If you can't kill everyone, then GTFO

    Kinda like real life. It's just how that battle system rolls.

    You could also look at GURPS Cyberpunk for a less lethal system, or hombrew a Shadowrun d20 of somekind.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    If your game is heavy on the "character and roleplaying" then why are your PCs getting into so many pitched battles?

    Admittedly, SR remains a combat-focused system, but that doesn't mean you have to run it that way. Emphasize the overwhelming power of your enemies; attach nuyen bonuses for "quiet" runs; spend more time focusing on the legwork part of the runs.

    Bad comes to worst, teach your players to fight intelligently. On their first run, partner them with a "grizzled commander" type who instructs them on the smart way to run. By showing them how to use their powers once, hopefully they'll catch on for future fights.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Well their is always morale and simple sensibility. My face ended an a fight simply by killing the boss and asking how many of them wanted to risk dying for no nuyen. [dead men pay no cred].

    Mooks and other such guys may simply decided to lay down after getting injured rather then fighting to the death. If half them are gone theirs a good chance the half left alive should vacate the premises.

    So you can make it easier by having the enemies behave realistically in the manner that they don't want to die and we'll flee, surrender or play dead should the tide go a different way.

    Enemies using non lethal weapons is also a way to go. Corp Security wants to maintain an image and avoid any accusations of excessive force. [even when the force is justified]. They also might want to interrogate the runners on who hired them.

    Of course that won't help when the runners do battle with other criminals. Then again stick-and-shock is more effective then regular bullets.

    Here's something normally to use the dodge skill against gunfire it requires you give up your attacks during that Initiative pass to do so. Otherwise you roll straight reaction. [discounting say the adept power combat sense].
    If you always got dodge+reaction vs ranged attacks that make it more survivable for the PC's

    *Burning a permanent point of edge can save you from death*
    So remind PC's to spend edge if an attack looks like its going to do some severe damage.

    My face adept has narrowly avoiding blows, most every run by spending edge. Either to avoid gunfire or to boost his commanding voice power so six enemies with SMG's throw them at his feet.
    "Better to be hit with the gun then the bullet"

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    Enemies using non lethal weapons is also a way to go. Corp Security wants to maintain an image and avoid any accusations of excessive force. [even when the force is justified].

    Unless the SR fluff has changed a lot since 3rd, I can't imagine any Corp shedding a tear when they rip the filthy troll merc in half with a MMG. Hell, most Megacorps have entire divisions devoted to exerting excessive force!

    The interrogation line is probably a better route, but how often are Corps really going to keep the poor scrags alive after interrogation?
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Vukodlak View Post
    Well their is always morale and simple sensibility. My face ended an a fight simply by killing the boss and asking how many of them wanted to risk dying for no nuyen. [dead men pay no cred].

    Mooks and other such guys may simply decided to lay down after getting injured rather then fighting to the death. If half them are gone theirs a good chance the half left alive should vacate the premises.

    So you can make it easier by having the enemies behave realistically in the manner that they don't want to die and we'll flee, surrender or play dead should the tide go a different way.

    Enemies using non lethal weapons is also a way to go. Corp Security wants to maintain an image and avoid any accusations of excessive force. [even when the force is justified]. They also might want to interrogate the runners on who hired them.

    Of course that won't help when the runners do battle with other criminals. Then again stick-and-shock is more effective then regular bullets.

    Here's something normally to use the dodge skill against gunfire it requires you give up your attacks during that Initiative pass to do so. Otherwise you roll straight reaction. [discounting say the adept power combat sense].
    If you always got dodge+reaction vs ranged attacks that make it more survivable for the PC's

    *Burning a permanent point of edge can save you from death*
    So remind PC's to spend edge if an attack looks like its going to do some severe damage.

    My face adept has narrowly avoiding blows, most every run by spending edge. Either to avoid gunfire or to boost his commanding voice power so six enemies with SMG's throw them at his feet.
    "Better to be hit with the gun then the bullet"
    The world the characters of Shadowrun live in is dark and unforgiving, lethal, so there have to be very good reasons for them to try to make a living from running. Pick a wrong job from the wrong Smith, one bad decision and you're dead. Always know that you are expendable to others. Trust noone.

    It's up to your players when to decide to actually take the risk to work in the shadows - instead of working in a restaurant that sells soyburgers and fries - and when to go on vacation only checking out "Dante's Inferno" for example...

    Giving the enemies an instinct of self-preservation is definitely a good start. Also depending on their personality, training or combat experience you don't have to let them act too professional. A simple fatty security officer will not be too confident or brave, when encountering a group of runners, probably has a little family to look after - though there might be the stereotypical hero with little common sense or instinct of selfpreservation that hides first and then breaks out guns blazing - and is likely to use moderate force. Gangers may be less cautious, more violent, become quickly overconfident - especially in bigger groups or even mobs - and may use little to no group tactics. Runners vary. A coporate commando squad is likely to overwhelm your group with perfectly coordinated attacks - so leg it unless you are accompanied by enough cannon fodder to distract them while you're at work and at least to secure your exit.

    Non lethal will will not be used too often. There is not much a runner will be able to tell you and after interraogation and torture they are usually dispoed of anyway.

    Burning edge is recommendable. After all it is of no use if your character is already dead.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    The interrogation line is probably a better route, but how often are Corps really going to keep the poor scrags alive after interrogation?
    Conssidering how much talent and money the average runner has just shooting them is a terrible waste. Whereas cortex bombs and blood samples for ritual magic can ensure they work off their sentence as Corporate assets ( and gives you a reason not to kill the P.C.s and a whole new line of possible stories)

    I'd also point out that even ignoring this the P.C.s treatment will very much depend on them. If they get caught doing a bloodless data steal then a prison sentence seems appropriate on the other hand if they drenched the halls in blood they are much more likely to be 'shot trying to escape'

    In one of my games the one of the P.C.s managed to plea bargain himself down to 5-10 and then set up a really fun run as the rest of the group tracked him down and planned a prison break
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 08:38 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    Conssidering how much talent and money the average runner has just shooting them is a terrible waste. Whereas cortex bombs and blood samples for ritual magic can ensure they work off their sentence as Corporate assets ( and gives you a reason not to kill the P.C.s and a whole new line of possible stories)

    I'd also point out that even ignoring this the P.C.s treatment will very much depend on them. If they get caught doing a bloodless data steal then a prison sentence seems appropriate on the other hand if they drenched the halls in blood they are much more likely to be 'shot trying to escape'
    To continue playing after your PC was reprogrammed sounds interesting...
    Last edited by Bharg; 2010-05-29 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Conssidering how much talent and money the average runner has just shooting them is a terrible waste. Whereas cortex bombs and blood samples for ritual magic can ensure they work off their sentence as Corporate assets ( and gives you a reason not to kill the P.C.s and a whole new line of possible stories)

    I'd also point out that even ignoring this the P.C.s treatment will very much depend on them. If they get caught doing a bloodless data steal then a prison sentence seems appropriate on the other hand if they drenched the halls in blood they are much more likely to be 'shot trying to escape'

    In one of my games the one of the P.C.s managed to plea bargain himself down to 5-10 and then set up a really fun run as the rest of the group tracked him down and planned a prison break
    You gotta remember a few things

    (1) Shadowrunners are a dime a dozen
    Sure, maybe some stingy suit is going to think that a cortex bomb or ritual magic is cheaper than hiring a team off the streets, but most Johnsons would prefer to throw some cash around rather than risk losing control of a band of highly trained (and pissed off) sociopaths. Not to mention that any megacorp worth its private army has a half-dozen equally-trained (and loyal) Black Ops teams hanging around for non-suicide missions.

    (2) It's expensive to liquidate assets when they go rogue
    Cortex bombs can be removed, and blood samples have an annoying habit of going missing. Plus every team you catch (if they're worth anything) is perfectly capable of infiltrating your base and blowing stuff up - including possibly you, Mr. Johnson.

    And, from a story perspective, you're stuck between "paper tiger corps" and "permanent thrall." Either the Corp is dumb and it's easy to get out of their control, or they've locked your controls in a Secure Depot and they'll detonate the moment something strange happens. Worse, the next Corp that captures the 'runners is just going to liquidate them - either when they notice the cortex bombs, or after one too many Corps are hanging onto the blood samples of the team.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    You gotta remember a few things

    (1) Shadowrunners are a dime a dozen
    Sure, maybe some stingy suit is going to think that a cortex bomb or ritual magic is cheaper than hiring a team off the streets, but most Johnsons would prefer to throw some cash around rather than risk losing control of a band of highly trained (and pissed off) sociopaths. Not to mention that any megacorp worth its private army has a half-dozen equally-trained (and loyal) Black Ops teams hanging around for non-suicide missions.

    (2) It's expensive to liquidate assets when they go rogue
    Cortex bombs can be removed, and blood samples have an annoying habit of going missing. Plus every team you catch (if they're worth anything) is perfectly capable of infiltrating your base and blowing stuff up - including possibly you, Mr. Johnson.

    And, from a story perspective, you're stuck between "paper tiger corps" and "permanent thrall." Either the Corp is dumb and it's easy to get out of their control, or they've locked your controls in a Secure Depot and they'll detonate the moment something strange happens. Worse, the next Corp that captures the 'runners is just going to liquidate them - either when they notice the cortex bombs, or after one too many Corps are hanging onto the blood samples of the team.
    (1) The main reason you hire a runner is that they are not connected with your corporation, cheap and of course expendable. Likely your own corporate teams are better trained, coordinated and even equipped with cyber- and bioware someone as a runner will never ever get his hands on. An AAA Smith would probably eliminate a whole team of runners single-handedly if he needs to.

    Huh, but aren't there other ways to control a individual than threatening to blow his brains up? Like some cyberware or use magic and hypnosis to change his entire personality, turm him into a loyal wage slave. Some corporates have trained specialists to do so.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    And, from a story perspective, you're stuck between "paper tiger corps" and "permanent thrall.
    That's why I said 'working their sentence off'. Each mission knocks time off the sentence until they have paid their debt to society
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    That's why I said 'working their sentence off'. Each mission knocks time off the sentence until they have paid their debt to society
    If you've enslaved a group of 'runners and plan on letting them go free at some point - you're doing it wrong

    @Bharg: All the more reason to actually hire some other guys anonymously instead of sending out people who not only know who actually hired them but has a reason to screw them over if they get the chance.

    And brainwashing the PCs is not optimal from a metagame perspective. It's not a fun game when the DM takes over your RP... permanently.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-05-29 at 09:51 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    If you've enslaved a group of 'runners and plan on letting them go free at some point - you're doing it wrong

    @Bharg: All the more reason to actually hire some other guys anonymously instead of sending out people who not only know who actually hired them but has a reason to screw them over if they get the chance.

    And brainwashing the PCs is not optimal from a metagame perspective. It's not a fun game when the DM takes over your RP... permanently.
    You have to be a very, very nice corporate to do that.

    I know that. I didn't want to argue that it's better for a corp to send their own people on a shadowrun. That the client cannot be tracked is priceless and there are... some good runners you can entrust with more important jobs. You only have to grab and hire them before they can bite the dust for someone else... in the shadows.

    Seconds. I just wasn't sure if the brainwashing thing was even possible because I just reat it in a novel, in a nice novel though.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Posted by Oracle-Hunter
    (1) Shadowrunners are a dime a dozen
    No they're not. The average Shadowrunner has tens of thousands of NuYen of gear and cyberware or magic powers only available to a tiny fraction of the population, Not to mention skills that have the average Corp. Security looking like a school kid. To waste all that money and talent is silly

    risk losing control of a band of highly trained (and pissed off) sociopaths.
    Well yes if the Shadowrunners are sociopaths they are going to kill them. See 'shot trying to escape', but a professional teams are a valuable asset

    Not to mention that any megacorp worth its private army has a half-dozen equally-trained (and loyal) Black Ops teams hanging around for non-suicide missions.
    Yes they do but they always need more. Hence why Shadowrunners exist
    in the first place

    Cortex bombs can be removed, and blood samples have an annoying habit of going missing.
    Yes they can but its NOT easy it is in fact very difficult if done right. And very deadly if there is the slightest slip up. Dangerous enough to convince smart Shadowrunners that its better odds to do the missions than to risk it.

    Plus every team you catch (if they're worth anything) is perfectly capable of infiltrating your base and blowing stuff up - including possibly you, Mr. Johnson.
    Well why on earth are they let out of sight long enough to do that. You send them out on missions, monitored and when its done they go back to Corp facility until the next mission. Repeat until sentence is paid off.

    And, from a story perspective, you're stuck between "paper tiger corps" and "permanent thrall." Either the Corp is dumb and it's easy to get out of their control, or they've locked your controls in a Secure Depot and they'll detonate the moment something strange happens. Worse, the next Corp that captures the 'runners is just going to liquidate them - either when they notice the cortex bombs, or after one too many Corps are hanging onto the blood samples of the team.
    Well no. The Corp. takes sensible precautions and the 'Runners work until its paid off.
    Yes if the the Runners get caught on a Corp mission they are probably toast but hey they screwed up twice in a row, life is harsh

    f you've enslaved a group of 'runners and plan on letting them go free at some point - you're doing it wrong
    Why ?
    If you treat them like **** then maybe so but how about the Corp. behave professionally. The 'Runners get caught, they do the sentence. They can go back for revenge but revenge is a dangerous and non-profitable way to risk your lives. ( and if they were treated decently revenge for what ?).
    This is also a reason for picking a sentence and sticking to it. If you're never gonna let the 'Runners go then they have nothing to lose by seeking to break out and screw you over no matter how insanely dangerous it is.
    Instead keep to your word and get the work out of them. ( and the word will get out that you can trust Corp. X on this making the next team easier to deal with)

    Posted by Bharg
    You have to be a very, very nice corporate to do that.
    No you'd just have to be professional

    Seconds. I just wasn't sure if the brainwashing thing was even possible because I just reat it in a novel, in a nice novel though
    Way back when I think in one of the supplements there were ICE programmes that conditioned the Decker to loyalty to the Corp. Not zombiefied obviously spotted loyalty but a certain feeling of liking and duty.
    Obviously that would take a subtle bit of Roleplaying and the P.C.s agreement. Generally P.C.s are understandably averse to being told what their characters feel
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 10:34 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Why ?
    If you treat them like **** then maybe so but how about the Corp. behave professionally. The 'Runners get caught, they do the sentence. They can go back for revenge but revenge is a dangerous and non-profitable way to risk your lives. ( and if they were treated decently revenge for what ?).
    I'm pretty sure "placing a cortex bomb in their head and forcing them to do runs for inadequate compensation" is sufficient reason to get revenge

    Listen, we're talking about 'runners caught while attacking Corp interests. These are not "tried and trusted 'runners" or even random 'runners some Mr. Johnson picked up a bar - these are guys who were already willing to attack your Corp and were caught while doing it! There is nothing to recommend using these 'runners instead of any of the other 'runners hanging around the Shadows in Seattle - and a lot to argue against them.

    And yes, 'runners are a dime of dozen - from the perspective of the Corp. These are not "adventurers" from D&D; in a world where you can buy muscles and even a veteran soldier risks death when facing a punk with a Ruger Superwarhawk, you do not need to have any special Destiny to be a 'runner - even a good one. 'Runners are explicitly hired when it is both too risky and too inconvenient to risk normal corporate assets - they're not the elites, they're the red shirts.

    I'm not entirely sure where you're getting the idea that Corps are nice enough to honor contracts with street trash, but you got to remember that this a game where one of the intro stories involves the parents of a teenage decker being tortured to death by their own employers in a vain attempt to get information about the decker that the parents didn't even have.

    If they're willing to do that to loyal employees, why in the world would they ever free enslaved 'runners?

    BTW - that story was from the start of 2nd Edition Sourcebook. The story from he 3rd Edition Sourcebook involved a Corp sending a second team of 'runners to wipe out the first squad so that they couldn't potentially reveal information they didn't really know. Did they sissify the 4th Edition?
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-05-29 at 11:12 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    No they're not. The average Shadowrunner has tens of thousands of NuYen of gear and cyberware or magic powers only available to a tiny fraction of the population, Not to mention skills that have the average Corp. Security looking like a school kid. To waste all that money and talent is silly
    Most people that become runners have serious financial issues in the first place, So the character generation in this point is kinda questionable, I guess. Everybody can become a runner so their skills are not that much better and even though runs are extremely dangerous and the corps can use their money for things, you wouldn't because you appreciate money, the pay is often baaad.
    Corps also hire mages and hackers and riggers for different tasks. Runners are not made up of more mages than the normal population.
    If you are already a runner with a good reputation killing could at least be considered to be a waste...

    Well yes if the Shadowrunners are sociopaths they are going to kill them. See 'shot trying to escape', but a professional teams are a valuable asset
    F-quality cyberware! Yay, insta-sociopathy!

    Yes they do but they always need more. Hence why Shadowrunners exist
    in the first place
    They need them, because they don't want an open war with other powerful corporations.

    Yes they can but its NOT easy it is in fact very difficult if done right. And very deadly if there is the slightest slip up. Dangerous enough to convince smart Shadowrunners that its better odds to do the missions than to risk it.
    A lot of shadowdocs actually don't want to get blown to bits themelves while trying to disarm a runner, I agree.

    No you'd just have to be professional
    Cleaning house is much safer and they planned to screw with your stuff at a certain point anyway.

    Way back when I think in one of the supplements there were ICE programmes that conditioned the Decker to loyalty to the Corp. Not zombiefied obviously spotted loyalty but a certain feeling of liking and duty.
    Obviously that would take a subtle bit of Roleplaying and the P.C.s agreement. Generally P.C.s are understandably averse to being told what their characters feel
    I agree. Breaking free from such a programming could also be interesting to roleplay, though.
    Last edited by Bharg; 2010-05-29 at 11:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    I'm pretty sure "placing a cortex bomb in their head and forcing them to do runs for inadequate compensation" is sufficient reason to get revenge
    Really cause I'm not. Seriously thousands of people commit crimes and go to prison every year how many of them come out and seek revenge on the government ?
    Yes it's not the P.C.s first choice of how to spend their time but they lost, they got caught. And revenge is very unprofitable

    There is nothing to recommend using these 'runners instead of any of the other 'runners hanging around the Shadows in Seattle
    Well apart form the fact you don't have to pay them

    I'm not entirely sure where you're getting the idea that Corps are nice enough to honor contracts with street trash,
    And I'm not sure where the idea that Corps start the day with an order of fried babies came from. They are Professionals in the same business the P.C.s are in.
    And they honour the contract for the same reason they pay Shadowrunners who do jobs for them get paid and not gunned down to save on the cash. If you do that, the word gets out and nobody works for you again.

    The whole idea of crooks working off their sentence isn't eactly a new one. D.C. comics has the Suicide Squad, Cyberpunk has the penal mercenary units, The Dirty Dozen movie. Or if you want a real example the allieds freed 'Lucky' Luciano in WW2 to help wipe up civilian resistance in Sciliy.

    Posted by Bhurg
    F-quality cyberware! Yay, insta-sociopathy!
    This I must have missed.Please explain more
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 11:22 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    And I'm not sure where the idea that Corps start the day with an order of fried babies came from. They are Professionals in the same business the P.C.s are in.

    And they honour the contract for the same reason they pay Shadowrunners who do jobs for them get paid and not gunned down to save on the cash. If you do that, the word gets out and nobody works for you again.

    The whole idea of crooks working off their sentence isn't eactly a new one. D.C. comics has the Suicide Squad, Cyberpunk has the penal mercenary units, The Dirty Dozen movie. Or if you want a real example the allieds freed 'Lucky' Luciano in WW2 to help wipe up civilian resistance in Sciliy.
    Yeah, none of those are Cyberpunk. Not the "comic book" cyberpunk - I mean William Gibson Cyberpunk. You could have your PCs go rescue a princess from Dunkelzahn for a Weapon Focus if you want, but that's not exactly a "genre appropriate" 'run either

    And they're not in the same business as the PCs! The PCs are Shadowrunners - their "business" is doing illegal stuff for the highest bidder. The megacorps are multinational businesses intent on turning a profit and/or gaining Real Ultimate Power. "Honor among thieves" is all well and good, but it doesn't apply between the hired help and the soulless megacorp.

    Also: I did refer to canon sources describing how megacorps treat their employees. Unless 4th Edition is dramatically different in tone from every previous edition of Shadowrun, I don't see how you can possibly imagine that a corp would play it straight with enslaved runners. People they hire, I can see - but once you've already stuck a bomb in someone's head, they're going to harbor some ill will towards you.

    EDIT: Oh, and you do know what they do to criminal in Shadowrun, right?

    If LoneStar gets you, they throw you in jail, slap you with a criminal SIN and let you out when they feel like it.

    If someone else gets you and you're SINless... you're never heard from again. I mean, it's not like anyone's going to miss you.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-05-29 at 11:36 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    And they're not in the same business as the PCs! The PCs are Shadowrunners - their "business" is doing illegal stuff for the highest bidder.
    And the Corps. the 'Runners will be dealing with ( at least in this scenario) are Corporate Security, a huge part of their job is to conduct sabatoage and assassination runs against their rivals. In other words doing illegal stuff

    "Honor among thieves" is all well and good, but it doesn't apply between the hired help and the soulless megacorp.
    Then how do Shadowrunners ever deal with the Corporations when they cannot be trusted in the slightest ?

    Also: I did refer to canon sources describing how megacorps treat their employees.
    You refered to one source. There are plenty of sources where the Runners do the jobs they are hired for and get paid as they were promised

    If LoneStar gets you, they throw you in jail, slap you with a criminal SIN and let you out when they feel like it.

    If someone else gets you and you're SINless... you're never heard from again. I mean, it's not like anyone's going to miss you.
    Sounds a good reason to me to acceppt their offer to work for them

    You could have your PCs go rescue a princess from Dunkelzahn for a Weapon Focus
    No but you could have a scenario where you have to rescue Dunkelzahn from a princess
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    You refered to one source. There are plenty of sources where the Runners do the jobs they are hired for and get paid as they were promised
    Two sources, from Sourcebooks - which is two more than you've cited

    More importantly, we're not talking about "jobs they are hired for" we're talking about "jobs they were forced to do for no money." World of difference.

    Don't believe me? See how much you like your boss when he decides to put a cortex bomb in your head and says "I'll take it out in 20 years instead of paying you"
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-05-29 at 11:50 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Don't believe me? See how much you like your boss when he decides to put a cortex bomb in your head and says "I'll take it out in 20 years instead of paying you"
    Depends if the option is 20 years in maximum security being Bubba the troll's special friend
    Though I'd be thinking maybe one run=2 years in prison, assume 4-6 for a break-in and attempted data steal. You'd need to do 3 runs ( though this would be up to individual G.M.s interpretation)

    Two sources, from Sourcebooks - which is two more than you've cited
    Do you really want me to cite every source where the Runers get paid for doing their job, cause I did have plans for this weekend
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 11:59 AM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    "Runners get paid decently for successfully executing a job." How does this contradict the claim that "Runners are extremely expendable to the corporation"?

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    Posted by Oracle_Hunter
    And I'm not sure where the idea that Corps start the day with an order of fried babies came from. They are Professionals in the same business the P.C.s are in.
    And they honour the contract for the same reason they pay Shadowrunners who do jobs for them get paid and not gunned down to save on the cash. If you do that, the word gets out and nobody works for you again.
    Word doesn't get out, because runners don't know if they work for you.

    Posted by Bhurg Bharg
    F-quality cyberware! Yay, insta-sociopathy!
    This I must have missed.Please explain more
    As far as I know, the quality of cyber- and bioware differs. Better quality means less humanity loss. And the really good stuff is hard to acquire if you are not developing and producing it.

    And the Corps. the 'Runners will be dealing with ( at least in this scenario) are Corporate Security, a huge part of their job is to conduct sabatoage and assassination runs against their rivals. In other words doing illegal stuff
    Only the executives and their Smiths or Johnsons know about the really bad stuff. Unofficial stuff. The wage slaves shouldn't be unsettled.

    Then how do Shadowrunners ever deal with the Corporations when they cannot be trusted in the slightest ?
    They offer jobs and they pay. The Johnson may not tell you everything that is vital or even lie to you. If you are really, really lucky you even get to touch vital data (*irony*). You do not want that to happen. There is a lot of risk involved.


    By the way: Do you know how Dunkelzahn was assassinated? I mean... He was a DRAGON? Was he in human form or was he shot down by a jet fighter?

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    By the way: Do you know how Dunkelzahn was assassinated? I mean... He was a DRAGON? Was he in human form or was he shot down by a jet fighter?
    I believe he was in human form at the time but still nobody knows how it was done. The site of the assassination is a void in astral, totally devoid of magic and life. Nobody knows (or admits to knowing) how the hell that could be done.

    less humanity loss.
    Humanity loss is in Cyberpunk, Shadowrun has Essence loss which doesn't affect you mentally
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 12:33 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    The big bad profit-obsessed corporation can:

    a) Force the guys dumb enough to get captured to work for them.

    b) Kill the guys they caught and then hire a bunch of other guys who, chances are, are not as dumb as the first bunch.

    Oh, and b) is probably a lot cheaper too.

    The only reason you'd go for a) is that you know the perps you caught have something that you know only they can offer. And can't torture out of them or what have you.
    Truth resists simplicity.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Speaking impartially, I can't help but feel the 'Corporations are allowed to do the sensible thing and actually skip the fried baby breakfast when it would be profitable' angle not only makes more sense, it also makes for more interesting narrative possibilities and goes much further towards aiding with the OP's concerns.

    Do we really need another rousing chorus of 'You're doing it Wrong'?
    Also, stop having fun, guys!
    If nothing else, you cannot draw many resources from, nor derive overly much power from a cadaver, whereas an 'indentured employee' could, managed correctly, be quite profitable.

    And okay, maybe trying to use such a party in that way would be a mistake by the corporation in question.

    But who says they aren't allowed to make mistakes, if it makes the story more interesting, allows the players more options for fun, and fits with the GM's plans better?

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Posted by Even Human
    a) Force the guys dumb enough to get captured to work for them.

    b) Kill the guys they caught and then hire a bunch of other guys who, chances are, are not as dumb as the first bunch.

    Oh, and b) is probably a lot cheaper too
    How is hiring people cheaper than using people you don't have to pay ?

    EDIT: Ah because you don't have to insert cortex bombs etc, yes ? I still think as the captured runners would be good for several runs it would work out cheaper
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 12:39 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by comicshorse View Post
    EDIT: Ah because you don't have to insert cortex bombs etc, yes ? I still think as the captured runners would be good for several runs it would work out cheaper
    Yes. But there's also the issue that you're putting cortex bombs in people that were incompetent enough to get caught in the first place. It really would just better to shop around for a bunch of runners that don't suck so much.
    Truth resists simplicity.

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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Yes. But there's also the issue that you're putting cortex bombs in people that were incompetent enough to get caught in the first place. It really would just better to shop around for a bunch of runners that don't suck so much.
    Again that depend on the circumstances. Even the best make mistakes or just get unlucky. If they talent they're worth it, if they're morons then they're off to meet Bubba the troll

    Also this is meant to be about giving the P.C.s a chance to Run again not just be put up against the nearest wall and shot. For that it might be necessary to err on the side of Runner competency
    Last edited by comicshorse; 2010-05-29 at 12:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Shadowrun 4th and lethality

    Quote Originally Posted by Cirrylius View Post
    So I've just started up a Shadowrun 4th ed. game, heavy on character and roleplaying (for a SR game, anyway), so I want to make the game less dangerous for characters. I assumed that if I slightly dumbed down the relevant combat abilities of adversaries, when they do fight, then I could keep the game from being too lethal to bother with a character background.

    What I'm finding is that even very basic opponents, if played cleverly, and present in a 1 or 1.5/1 ratio, can blow through a player in just a couple of rounds; but if I subtract from their ability any further the encounter becomes farcical.

    Has anyone had any success reducing the lethality of Shadowrun 4th but kept the challenge, or at least the illusion of challenge?
    To answer the OPs question and get back on track a bit, there are a few things you can do. Have multiple groups attacking the PC's at the same time, multiple groups with wildly differing interests who are more likely to shoot each other than the PC's so they and make a clean getaway.

    Give them the option to call in some backup on missions that are going to be highly dangerous, or do what D&D does and make sure the PC's can do the mission a different way to avoid confrontation as much as possible. They don't have to run in guns blazing, and if they have a good enough Face they might be able to get where they're going with a little help from people they might have fought.
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