Blog Closure

As I haven’t actively used this blog in a while now, and am not currently running Shadowrun events, only writing Missions, I am going to close this blog down for now. If I return, chances are I’ll link it to WorldAnvil activity instead. For now, I do have plenty of one-shots on there!

Current Status

So I haven’t been around recently, which meant the sample combat project also fell to the wayside. Unfortunately staying at home slowly started putting pressure on me, so Shadowrun-fridays just stopped happening for me. Doesn’t help that I really miss public events for people to hop by and give it a shot.

No returning to the sample combat I fear, or online events, though I have been busy with Shadowrun again: Working on a new Mission, helping polish my Mission from last year, and writing a one-shot SRM-style. Single-page version of the one-shot is almost done, which leaves a lot to the GM. SRM-style will be later on.

So if you want to give a public oneshot a chance, here’s a lightweight run involving a prank, smugglers, and a really weird cargo-system. Set in United Netherlands, Europort: Two Bricks short of a Full Load

Bar fight: Sample combat (02/X: Yu’s stats)

Here’s Yu’s statblock. Minor note: Rude’s stats have been updated to add his Social Rating of 0/6. That’s 0 for non-Intimidation, 6 for Intimidation.


  • CRB = Core Rulebook aka Sixth World
  • FS = Firing Squad
  • p# = page number (so CRB p249 means page 249 of the Sixth World book)
  • AR = Attack Rating
  • DR = Defense Rating
  • DV = Damage Value

Yu (Elf Covert Ops / Face)

B 2, A 6 (8), R 4 (5), S 2 (4), W 5, L 5, I 5, C 8, Edge 2, Essence 4

Note that Elves can have max 8 Charisma, 7 Agility, 6 on all other attributes. Yu has 6 Agility, 8 Charisma, so only 1 Attribute max. CRB p63 mentions only 1 attribute “only one attribute may be at the maximum for the selected metatype”, ergo 7 Agility would have been illegal.

Also be aware that it says for the selected metatype: Magic and Resonance are not capped based on Metatype. As such, by some this is interpreted as that Magic/Resonance are excluded from this restriction.

Important augmentations

  • Muscle Replacement: +2 Agility and +2 Strength (CRB p287)
  • Reaction Enhancers: +1 Reaction (CRB p287)
  • Smartlink & Image Link: Can use Smartguns, see AROs, etc (CRB p275 + p285)

You could have gotten the Links in glasses or cybereyes, but no, Yu went badass with direct implants while keeping his natural eyes. This means Yu keeps his natural Low-light Vision. The rules don’t mention this explicitly, but when you replace your natural eyes, you also lose your normal natural sight quality if you have one. Ingentis Athletes p17 does reference this restriction, when noting that replacing a Cyclopean Eye with a cybereye negates the impact that said Eye has.

Important skills

  • Biotech 1
  • Influence 5, Con 6 (Impersonation +2)
  • Stealth 6 (Palming +2)

So to translate those stats to dicepools: Yu has 8 Charisma + 5 Influence = 13 dice on things such as Negotiation, and 8+6=14 when lying. Impersonation adds another 2, so Yu is extra good in pretending to be someone he’s not.

Yu’s special stats

  • Defense Rating: 5 (2 Body, +3 Crimson Sky Suit)
  • Social Rating: 13/3 (FS p50: 8 Charisma, +5 Crimson Sky Suit, armor flipped on Intimidation)
  • Base Initiative: Reaction 4 (5) + Intuition 5, no augmentations on the dice = 10+1D6 (CRB p39)
  • Base Actions: 1 Major/2 Minor (CRB p40: 1 default Minor + 1 per Initiative dice, aka 2 total when unbuffed)
  • Default defense pool: Reaction 4 (5) + Intuition 5 = 10 dice (CRB p105)
  • Condition Monitors: 9 Physical, 11 Stun (CRB p38: 8 + Body/2 rounded up, and 8 + Willpower/2 rounded up)

Yu’s Crimson Sky Suit (FS p52) provides +3 Defense Rating, has 6 Capacity and has a Social Rating of +5. He spent the capacity on the following:

  • Chemical Protection Rating 6 (CRB p266: 6 Capacity, can protect against Corrosive status 6x, both those numbers are equal to the rating. Also provides a dice bonus on Toxin Resistance tests where it’s ‘appropriate protective gear’, CRB p121)


  • Ares Predator VI (CRB p253 + table p255)
    • 30 Gel Rounds loaded (an Ares Predator VI can have multiple ammo-types loaded and uses the type you want)
    • Personalized Grip (FS p62, +1/+1/-/-/- on available Attack Ratings)
    • Active Smartgun (CRB p260-261, since Yu has an implanted Smartlink, the combination of Smartlink+Smartgun gives 2 on all available Attack Ratings, and other benefits)
    • Gel Rounds (CRB p262): 12/12/10/-/-, 3S damage (When striking an enemy, they must roll to avoid getting knocked Prone. It says player’s choice on whether to Roll Agi(2) or Body(4), chances are this should read Target’s choice. No errata / author intent known at this point.)
  • Shock Gloves: 9/-/-/-/-, 4S(e) (Strength 4 + weapon’s 5/-/-/-/- AR as Attack Rating, see CRB p109)

Healing Pools

When applying First Aid, Yu will roll 1 Biotech + 5 Logic = 6 dice. Without a first aid / biotech kit, there is a -2 dice penalty. (CRB p119, note that p273 mentions Tools are for a skill, so there is no such thing as a First Aid kit, there’s only Medkits and Biotech Kit/Shop/Facility available in the rules. CRB p281 states a Medkit counts as a Biotech Kit.)

When doing a detailed Medkit healing, Yu can opt to let the Medkit take the wheel, replacing their Biotech skill of 1 with the Medkit rating (CRB p120), they still roll Logic though.

Don’t forget a Wireless Medkit adds +1 die to healing tests. (CRB p281)

Bar fight: Sample combat (01/X: Rude’s stats)

Quick intro: Since rules can be confusing to people, especially the finer details, I am designing a sample encounter. I was going to write the entire thing first, but that way I’ll never finish it. Instead, I’ll write it out over several posts and eventually compile it into a Google Doc with sidenotes to make it easy to go through and understand all the small rules.


  • CRB = Core Rulebook aka Sixth World
  • FS = Firing Squad
  • p# = page number (so CRB p249 means page 249 of the Sixth World book)
  • AR = Attack Rating
  • DR = Defense Rating
  • SR = Social Rating
  • DV = Damage Value

So let’s explain what the fight will contain: Some go-gangers walk into a bar. That’s the joke. If they were proper go-gangers, they’d ride in on their bikes and act as if the bar is a drive-thru. 🥁

Anyway. They see some runners they got beef with, and attack them. The runners fight back, the bartender gets pissed, bullets and gas grenades fly around. It’s a nasty event. This will let us touch on quite a bit of small details, such as Surprise rounds, using combat drugs, how toxins work, etc. As well as default Attack Rating vs Defense Rating, Edge actions, Cover, and so on and so forth!

But first. The characters. Let’s start with Rude, the Troll Street Samurai, a slightly-tweaked version of the Street Samurai archetype from the book.

Rude (Troll Street Samurai)

B 7, A 3(7), R 3, S 7(11), W 1, L 2, I 4, C 3, Edge 5, Essence 1.34

Important augmentations

  • Muscle Toner + Muscle Augmentation: +4 Agility and +4 Strength (CRB p292)
  • Titanium Bone Lacing: +2 DR, +2 soak dice, +3 Unarmed AR, 4P base Unarmed DV (CRB p286)
  • Dermal Plating: +3 DR (CRB p286)
  • Platelet Factories: Taking 2 or more Physical damage? Reduced by 1 (CRB p292)
  • Reflex Recorders for Close Combat and Firearms: +1 skill rating (CRB p293)

A 3(7) means that someone’s base Agility is 3, and their augmented Agility is 7, so for all rolls and checks you’d use the 7. Note that the maximum adjusted attribute value is +4, see CRB p37, so Rude’s Agility cannot ever be boosted past that 7. UNLESS the rules EXPLICITLY state something bypasses the adjusted/augmented maximum limit!

Important note: Bone Lacing and Bone Density Augmentation do not augment your overall Body, they only provide a bonus to Body when you’re facing physical damage. Note that that is lowercase physical. This means you could argue it applies to all damage you face in the flesh, even if it’s Stun and not Physical. Is that actually the case? I got no idea what’s official, but I’d say yes: These apply to damage resistance tests against attacks that attack your actual body, in contrast to for example Direct Spells that attack your mind and Matrix Biofeedback Damage.

Platelet Factories, however, state they work against Physical damage. Which means that a Direct spell that does 2+ Physical Damage would trigger Platelet Factories their effect.

Important skills

  • Close Combat 7(8), with a Specialization in Blades
  • Firearms 4(5), with a Specialization in Heavy Pistols
  • Perception 3
  • Seattle Street Gangs (Knowledge Skill) (CRB p97-p99)

So to translate those stats to dicepools: If Rude swings a first, he has 7 Agility + 8 Close Combat = 15 dice. If he swings a katana (which is a blade), he also adds a +2 from his Specialization = 17 dice. Knowledge skills are special, we’ll get to those in the actual gameplay example

Rude’s special stats

  • Defense Rating: 17 (7 Body, +4 Armor Jacket, +1 Dermal Deposits. +3 Dermal Plating, +2 Bone Lacing)
  • Social Rating: 0/6 (FS p50: 3 Charisma, -3 Armor Jacket, armor flipped on Intimidation)
  • Base Initiative: Reaction 3 + Intuition 4, no augmentations on the dice = 7+1D6 (CRB p39)
  • Base Actions: 1 Major/2 Minor (CRB p40: 1 default Minor + 1 per Initiative dice, aka 2 total when unbuffed)
  • Default defense pool: Reaction 3 + Intuition 4 = 7 dice (CRB p105)
  • Condition Monitors: 12 Physical, 9 Stun (CRB p38: 8 + Body/2 rounded up, note that the +2 from Bone Lacing doesn’t apply here, and 8 + Willpower/2 rounded up, so 8+7/2=12 PCM, 8+1/2=9 SCM)

Rude’s Armor Jacket (CRB p265, +table on p266) provides +4 Defense Rating and has 8 Capacity. He spent that all on the following:

  • Electricity Resistance Rating 3 (CRB p266: 3 Capacity, can protect against Zapped status 3x, both those numbers are equal to the rating)
  • MEMS Equipment Pouch (FS p48: 2 Capacity, gives Gear Access (FS p53: makes picking up items from the pouch a Minor Action))
  • MEMS Quick-Draw Holster (FS p48, 3 Capacity, allows the Quick-Draw action, boosts 1 AR when quick-drawing, can at most hold a Heavy Pistol)

Weapons (ignoring weapons Rude didn’t bring with him to the bar)

  • Ares Predator VI (CRB p253 + table p255)
    • 15 Explosive rounds and 15 Stick-n-Shock rounds loaded (an Ares Predator VI can have multiple ammo-types loaded and uses the type you want)
    • Personalized Grip (FS p62, +1/+1/-/-/- on available Attack Ratings)
    • Active Smartgun (CRB p260-261, since Rude uses Wireless Smartlinked Contacts, the combination of Smartlink+Smartgun gives 2 on all available Attack Ratings, and other benefits)
    • Explosive Rounds (CRB p261-262): 13/13/11/-/-, 4P damage (The – Attack Ratings do not become 2 with the smartgun bonus, they count as non-existent instead)
    • Stick-n-Shock Rounds (CRB p262): 14/14/12/-/-, 2S(e) damage
  • Unarmed Strike: 14/-/-/-/-, 4P (p39: Strength 11 + Reaction 3 as Attack Rating, and see Bone Lacing for why this is the unarmed damage)
  • Katana (CRB p247, +p249 table)
    • Personalized Grip: (FS p62, +2/-/-/-/- Attack Rating)
    • Attack Rating: 23/-/-/-/- (base 10, +11 from Strength (CRB p109 Combat Example, due to an errata mistake it’s not in the base rules), +2 from the Personalized Grip)
    • Damage: 4P (Note that Strength gives no bonus on melee damage, only on melee Attack Rating)

SR6 Chargen for newbies

Wrote this up for someone, and figured I might as well post it here: Some explanations, flow and tips for chargen.

In Shadowrun, there’s a bunch of basic archetypes, picking one can help you steer how to build. There’s sample Archetypes, which can be used for inspiration. You can be a Face, someone primarily aimed at social skills. A Street Sam, who is an augmented character (with implants) to buff their combat potential. A Physical Adept who buffs their own abilities with Adept Powers. A Full or Aspected Magician who slings spells or buffs people, summons spirits or uses alchemical preparations. Mystic Adepts that combine Adept Powers and other magic powers. You also have Deckers and Technomancers, who are hackers. And Riggers, who use and possess Drones to fight.

Let’s start with what not to bother with as newbies: Riggers, due to having to keep track of too many things. Technomancers, due to being an extra-complicated version of Deckers. Mystic Adepts, due to their Jack-of-all-trades style making them hard to play. Alchemists, due to requiring a lot of experience to use right. (And more magic gear that hasn’t made it to SR6 yet.) And forget Rituals: They take a lot of skill to be useful. Best to focus on Spells and/or Spirits.

A character basically exists out of 5 things: Their attributes, their skills, their qualities, their magical talents (if any), and their gear (both implants inside their body and whatever else). That’s what we’re going to use priorities and extra Karma for.

Aight. So. Priority. 5 categories, 5 levels. You assign an A, a B, a C, a D, an E. This gives you points, cash and stats. After spending those, you have Karma you can use to raise more stuff, or buy more toys. Augmented characters tend to want decent-to-high resources, so they can get decent gear. Same for Deckers. Magical characters need limited cash. So that might give you some indication what priorities you want to focus on.

Your first character choice should be to pick a Metatype. This determines the maximum value for your attributes, and some free racial qualities. Except Humans, who are bland. But hey, they’re the majority and least likely to stand out and face racism.

The fourth category, Magic, is where you start picking your priorities usually. If you don’t want magic/resonance abilities, put your E here and become a Mundane. Anything else, you’re either Magical or a Technomancer. You can take Full Magician, Aspected Magician, Adept, Mystic Adept, Technomancer. If you pick Adept, take Magic D. I’ll explain why later. Full Magicians vs Aspected Magicians are basically ‘I can do all kinds of magic’ vs ‘I can only do 1 type’.

What do you get out of your Magic priority? It gives you your Initial Magic Attribute rank. For Full/Aspected/Mystic, your Initial Magic rank comes with freebies. Ignoring Mystics, you get 2x your Magic in Free ‘Spells’. You can use said Free Spells for learning a combination of 3 things: Actual Spells, Rituals, and Alchemical Preparation. These are the ONLY ones you get in chargen, you’re not allowed to learn more until after play has already started. Thus, what spells you want to start play with, you have to pick a high enough Magic Priority to be able to get them.

So, let’s now look at the second category, Attributes. These are Attribute Points. You have 8 normal Attributes that start at 1 each: 4 Physical, 4 Mental. Attribute Points can be used to raise your attributes from 1 to whatever. You want 4 Body? 4-1 = 3 points. 5 Reaction and 5 Agility? That’s 8 more points. You’re an Elf and you want to use Attribute Points to max your Charisma at 8? 7 points. NOTE: In Chargen, you can only have 1 of your 8 Physical+Mental Attributes at Maximum, no matter what you use to raise them.

Now, the first category is Metatype (Adjustment Points). Ignore the Metatype part, because all Metatypes are identical point-wise. This really is about the Adjustment Points. Adjustment Points are basically special Attribute Points. You can spend those on 2 things. First of all, the Special Attributes: Edge/Magic/Resonance. Edge starts at 1, Magic/Resonance at whatever value you got from your Magic Priority. Magic/Resonance cap at 6 (and ignore the 1-at-max limit for Attributes). Edge 6 except for with Humans.

Second: Remember how your Metatype decides what attributes are allowed to have what maximum value? So, the Adjustment Points can also be used to raise your Racial Attributes. Racial Attributes are any Attributes your Metatype says can be above 6 for you. An Elf can have 7 Agility and 8 Charisma max, so they can use Adjustment Points there. Etc, etc. You don’t have to use these for getting above 6, though.

[[Let’s do an example: You took Attributes A, Metatype C, Magic E, and decided to play an Elf. This gives you 24 Attribute Points and 9 Adjustment Points. You raise all Attributes from 1 to 4: This is 8×3=24 Attribute Points. You then put 3 of the Adjustment Points into Edge, raising it from 1 to 4. You raise Charisma from 4 to 8 with 4 more Adjustment Points. And the last two points you put into Agility, raising it to 6. This puts Charisma at maximum, all other attributes below maximum, so you’re still valid.]]

[[Second example: Attributes A, Metatype D, Magic E. 4 Adjustment Points. Adjustment Points to raise Edge from 1 to 5. Attribute Points to raise Charisma to 8, Agility to 6, costing 7+5=12 normal points. Remaining 12 Attribute points into raising remaining six attributes from 1 to 3.]]

The third category is Skills: This gives you Skill Points, that you can use to raise skills (all starting at 0), for 1 rank per point. Max rank is 6, only 1 skill allowed at max in chargen. Per skill you can also buy a Specialization for 1 point, which gives you 2 extra dice on whatever they apply to. Don’t do that. Use Karma for that instead. Again, explanation later.

Last category is money. You can get some more for karma, but this is your primary income source in chargen. This is what you’re going to spend for your implants, armor, weapons, vehicle, monthly lifestyle (aka your monthly rent and social standards), fake ID and more.

So, one last note: Why Magic D for Adepts? Because Adepts get their Power Points from their ADJUSTED Magic in chargen. You add 3 special points to raise from 1 to 4, then take cyberware and lose 1 Essence, lowering you to 3 Magic? Then you have 3 Power Points. Since each Magic rank only gives 1 point, you’re better off getting Adjustment Points to raise your Magic as Adepts.

Now that you picked your priorities, you start by spending all those points. Then, you pick Positive and Negative Qualities. These give benefits and drawbacks, each accompanied by a karma cost or gain, which adds to / comes out of your initial 50 Customization Karma. There’s 2 rules that apply here. First, you can only take a total of 6 qualities max in chargen. Second, if you take more karma gain than karma cost, you can gain a max of 20 karma. Oh, and technically a third: Don’t be a dick, pick downsides that actually impact your play, don’t go for free points.

[[Example 1: Player spends 24 karma on Positive Qualities, and gains 44 from Negative Qualities. This raises their Customization Karma from 50 to 70.]]

[[Example 2: Player spends 60 karma on Positive Qualities, gains 10 from Negative Qualities. Spends all 50 of their Customization Karma, none left for other things.]]

With Qualities handled, you start spending karma. You can spend up to 10 on extra cash, at a rate of 2k nuyen per point. You can buy/raise skills, buy specializations (1 Specialization per Skill max, they’re 5 karma each, so get them with karma, not with points), raise attributes (useful if you left a 1 and you want to raise it to 2 for 10 karma, for example). NOTHING ELSE. This is a whitelist, can’t do anything other than these with your karma.

Then, you spend cash for gear. Implants reduce your Essence. If you’re Magical, Essence loss also costs you Magic. For Adepts, this also costs them Power Points. And, important: The more Essence you lost, the tougher you are to heal!

You get Charismax6 free Contact Points to buy Contacts with. Contacts have Connection (how much they can get done) and Loyalty (how much they like you), each can max be equal to your Charisma. (p67) Then you get free Language/Knowledge points: You take 1 Native Language, the free points you spend on Knowledge Skills (1 point per Skill) and on Languages (3 levels per language max, each level costs 1 point).

[[Example: Character with 5 Logic takes English as Native Language, has 5 points. Buys 3 Knowledge Skills, and learns Sperethiel at the second rank (Specialist).]]

In the end, you can keep maximum 5k nuyen to enter play with. As for Karma, there’s no rule. -,- Best advise would be to restrict to a maximum of 5 Karma, spend the rest.

Houserules: Damage (Hardened, Toxins, Grenades)

SR6 restructured damage codes and soak pools. This heavily decreases one-shot chances, so that’s something I personally consider an advantage. This also would be why in errata they nerfed Unarmed Damage as well.

However, there’s a few things the rebalance seems to have partially missed:

  1. Grenades are 16P at ground zero, 10P~12P at 3m range
  2. Toxins, including Narcoject, go up to Power 15
  3. While Spirits have less Hardened Armor, the autosoak is still the same

Let’s start with Grenades. If you’re hit with a gun, you tend to face 4P~8P pre-soak, due to firing modes, ammo and net hits. It takes a really heavy attack to reach 10P or higher. Yet being within 3m range of an exploding grenade already does 10P, and this is to an entire group. Even a Fireball tends to not reach those damage numbers, and that faces Spell Defense zones instead of ‘1x per round, as alternative to Movement’ as defense action.

Now granted, throwing out grenades is a good way to get everyone REALLY mad at you, but they’re still far too easy and powerful an option. All it takes is one nutjob to take out a grenade, and suddenly wipes start happening. As such, reducing the damage:

  • Grenade damage is reduced
    1. HE and Frag Grenades are halved, Stun Grenades receive -2 per level (8S/6S/4S, aka same as Frag Grenades but Stun instead of Physical damage)
    2. All grenades do 75% of their current damage (rounded up).

With the first option, being hit directly will do about the same damage as a good hit, enemies nearby still take a chunk. The second keeps grenades as significantly dangerous, while decreasing the damage numbers to a point where they’re not the only valid option in dangerous fights.

Toxins are faced by Body+Willpower, so it’s easier to resist them. But one problem with Toxins is that a single point of Power left already deals the nasty side-effects. And against Injection and Ingestion, there’s limited protection possible. So unless you’re a smart street sam with a high-rating Toxin Extractor, toxins are a good way to drop you. Even a high-buffed character will perhaps score 5 hits vs a Power of 15…

On the other hand, a Gas grenade won’t immediately hit you and won’t keep hitting you, so you will not take repeated hits from them. And with Gas grenades, only within 5m do you face the maximized Power.

  • Ingestion/Injection toxins have their Power reduced to 50%
  • Contact/Inhalation toxins have their Power reduced to 75%

This way, damage numbers from toxins are more comparable to normal attacks taken. Contact/Inhalation toxins still are real dangerous within the 5m range*, however: Not only can you still get into cover and only take a single hit during the entire duration, and Toxin Resistance pools are greater than Damage Resistance pools, but Chemical Protection, Inhalators and Gas Masks also are viable counter-measures against these two vectors.

* Note that Gas Grenade rules are a bit vague, but a rule example notes 5m as the size of each range category for them.

Not everyone always manages to follow this, but here we go: A Spirit who Materializes with Materialization, receives Immunity to Normal Weapons (ItNW). This isn’t actual immunity: Immunity simply gives Hardened Armor equal to a creature’s Essence, which for Spirits equals their Force. And Hardened Armor gives an Armor Boost and autohits equal to its rating.

In other words, Materialization means a Spirit gets both their Force in Armor, and their Force in autohits on damage resistance. But only against non-magical attacks.

And unfortunately, Hardened Armor is more powerful in SR6 than in SR5. This is where the damage nerfing missed its mark.

Let’s start with numbers: In SR5, a Spirit received 2xForce as Hardened Armor, and their modified Hardened Armor gave autohits per 2. So facing 0 AP, they had Force autosoak. In SR6, they receive Force as Hardened Armor, which equals their autohits. So while they no longer add Armor to their Soak pool, their autohits remained the same, meaning the overall reduction in attack DV means they actually take less damage than before.

Worse, this is no longer reduced by AP. So in the past, the autohits could be reduced. Now, that no longer is the case. As a result, even against tough enemies with assault rifles, a Spirit will take far less damage, often none at all.

There’s three variants to discuss for nerfing this, of which two are shamelessly stolen from people on Facebook, at Shadowrun 6th Edition Chummers. Fortunately we don’t have to nerf too much, because currently there’s only 2 critters with Hardened Armor: Spirits, and Sharks. (Shame that that’s going to get errataed eventually. XD)

  1. Hardened Armor only gives Rating/2 Autohits on soak
  2. ItNW gives rating 3 Hardened Armor
  3. ItNW gives rating 4 Hardened Armor against ranged attacks, and rating 2 against melee attacks

The first variant scales with Force, so high-Powered spirits are still much tougher to injure. With the second, both weak and strong spirits take about the same damage, so even weak Spirits are still a threat.

The third variant follows the second variant, but buffs melee against Spirits. This nerf where Spirits their protective measures don’t work well up close and personal, is semi-representative of the old classic Attack of Will. Now watch a Troll headbutt that big mean Spirit in front of them. Just hope they don’t have Energy Aura.

Houserules: Edge (4/4: Qualities & more)

Rather than stretching this into a total of five posts, I’m going to first do Qualities, then a bunch of smaller rules here, and wrap it all up now.

There’s several important sources of Edge. We have Attack/Defense Ratings, tactical advantages, and gear/qualities giving a benefit in specific situations. In the SR5->SR6 move, a lot of the dicepool modifiers got turned into granting Edge (or disallowing gain and spending). And as one can expect with a complete overhaul, the ball got dropped here and there. Let’s start with the primary offender and another quality to compare it to.

First of, Photographic Memory: 12 Karma, gives a temporary point of Edge on Memory-tests (aka Logic + Intuition). Meanwhile, we have Analytical Mind: 3 Karma, bonus Edge (so not just temporary) when making Logic-based tests. Not only is it superior and cheaper for the same test, but AM also boosts Hermetic Drain Tests, Hacking, etc… In other words, AM is not only cheap as hell, but also by far superior to almost every other quality there is.

Now I am not going to go through every Positive Quality giving Edge, or every piece of gear. Instead, I’m just going to offer some quick-and-dirty rules, where every specific case can be weighed against these guidelines and decided on tweaking or not. There’s just two qualities I’m explicitly suggesting a nerf for.

  • Analytical Mind only works on knowledge-based Logic-skilltests
    • In other words, this no longer buffs Hacking, or drain tests. If your knowledge skill lets you roll an active skill + Logic, this quality helps. Perception + Logic (Seattle Street Gangs) to figure out why a gang is behaving strangely, you get the bonus. Perception + Intuition to identify what exact gang you’re dealing with? No dice.
  • Indomitable only works when dealing with Intimidation, Nauseated status, Natural Recovery and resisting Magic spells/effects (such as Movement)
    • This means it won’t help Drain Resistance, Astral Combat, Mentor Spirit downsides, Matrix Tests, Lifting, Judge Intentions, resisting most Influence/Con, Toxins. Why? To fit better with the description and not be horribly overpowered.
  • All Edge-granting Qualities cost 12 Karma
    • No concerns about cost imbalances if they’re pulled straight across the board
  • Gear/Qualities that cover edge-cases give permanent Edge, ones that are more frequent only give temporary Edge
    • For example, this means that Spirit/Sprite Affinity and Control Rigs only grant temporary Edge. Combined with the 12-Karma rule, this means that there’s only one dimension to worry about: Is it a rare case, or will it be used an awful lot?

No doubt there are way more options to be considered and finetuning to be done, so decide where you deem it fit. And as always, don’t be afraid to change your mind.

And now, some smaller rules, some of which are alternatives to previously-mentioned houserules.

  • An attack with – as base AR, or a net AR that fails to exceed Cover DR, automatically misses
    • Right now, an Assault Rifle can fire and hit at Extreme Range no matter what DR it faces. This also encourages the owner to use the heaviest DV-bonuses they can find, since the AR penalty afterwards doesn’t matter. With this restriction, that’s not an option anymore: 0 means a failure no matter what, and even 4 AR canno beat Full Cover
  • Assisted Climbing (p93 climbing gear advantage) gives one point of temporary Edge, also gives a discount of 1 (min cost 1) on Edge Boosts
    • No Edge-abuse possible this way, and Assisted Climbing has value past the first time you decide to use Edge during the long climb, because at the low progress made when climbing, a longer advantage is definitely needed
  • Edge Pool caps at Edge Attribute + 2, rather than 7 or 9
    • Adds more value to high Edge, since it also impacts how much you can keep with you during combat. 1 Edge? Forget about ever doing Anticipation.
  • The Edge-gain limit per Action is capped at 3 instead of 2
    • This is for if your players are excessively tactical (or Riggers with Control Rigs) and you want to reward them more for it. Raising the cap, rather than just throwing it out, prevents a desperate race for tactical advantages while still giving more leeway for your clever bunch. Of course this also counts for enemies that get the drop on them…

And with that, we’re done! For now…

Seriously though, I still have a bunch of houserules I’ll write about another time. But Edge-wise, this is a wrap right now. Talk to you later, chum.

Houserules: Edge (3/4: AR vs DR)

So, on this third post about Edge houserules, let’s start with Attack Rating vs Defense Rating. If AR-DR is 4+, or DR-AR is 4+, the bigger side gets a point of Edge. 11 AR vs 8 DR? Nobody gets anything. 12 vs 8? Edge to attacker. 2 vs 12? Edge to defender.

When people argue Armor does nothing in SR6, this is what they talk about: In more extreme cases, the extra armor won’t matter for this equation (if I already beat you by 4, extra DR won’t help me, if you have extremely high AR usually more armor won’t help me). But at the same time, it also has extremely little impact in the middle: If the enemy’s AR is 3 above my DR, they can drop 6 AR on their firing mode without giving me any advantage. Oh, and if the enemy Takes Aim with a Scope, suddenly your high DR solely blocks enemy Edge but you get zero benefits.

At the same time, if we look at a crazy Tank in SR5, it was quite easy for a character to take on average 7 damage less than others. Which means that an attack that does 3 damage against said Tank, will do 10 damage against a Face. To threaten the tough players, you had to risk one-shotting the others. If too big a benefit is given to high DR/AR ratings, we reintroduce this problem. So this is definitely something to avoid. And, as many who altered this mechanic noticed, it plays a big part in the new Edge system, so just cutting out the Edge is a bad idea.

Mathwise, by the way, it’s possible to basically have anywhere from 2 to 20 AR thanks to weapon mods and grunt groups, while default DRs of 5~8 can become closer towards 20 if you really try. (Let’s not touch on Cyberarmor-tanks for a second.) Don’t forget Cover can add anywhere from +1 to +4 to DR, as well.

So, all this means a houserule should fit 4 criteria.

  1. AR/DR differences should still grant Edge
  2. We want some form of gradual benefits, within limits to not encourage DR/AR-hoarding
  3. Benefits shouldn’t be at the level of reintroducing oneshotting with big differences
  4. Imaging Scope needs a form of nerf

My own proposal is as follows:

  • Steps of 3 difference, not 4
  • First step grants Edge
  • Second and third step grant +1/-1 soak die
  • Imaging Scope’s benefit reduces the Defender’s benefits with 1 step, and only does so at Medium+ Ranges

Steps of 3 are meant to make AR/DR-difference matter quicker, so you don’t get the extra benefits only in really big cases. The second and third benefit are smaller-scaled, so that it’s not an absolute must to get as high as possible. AR 8 vs DR 17+ means 9/3 = 3 steps, defender gets +1 Edge and +2 soak dice.

With more than 1 level, suddenly we can nerf Imaging Scope. Plus a Scope won’t help you in close quarters, it’s really meant for long-distance situations.

Now, the reason we’re impacting the soak dice, rather than the attack/evade dice: This way the AR-DR comparison doesn’t impact the hitchance directly, instead it impacts the damage taken. Means it feels more like the Armor is helping you avoid damage, which makes more sense than that it helps you evade.

Of course plenty of alternatives are possible, such as:

  • Imaging Scope reduces DR with 3 if DR>AR, aka you don’t lose 1 step of benefits if your DR is high enough
  • Steps of 2 difference, so AR-DR game gets to its benefits much faster.
  • Bonus on attack/dodge, reflecting that poor/excellent armor makes it easier/harder to land a dangerous hit on you
  • Full soak point instead of just a soak die, making the AR-DR benefits far more lethal
  • Extra points of Edge instead, which bypass the ‘2 Edge gained per Action’ limit, but not the ‘2 Edge kept per turn’ limit
  • Introducing special AR/DR-modifying circumstances for special situations (a sandstorm may add 2 Cover-levels, while still capping at 4 levels, for example)
  • No step-limit, meaning AR/DR armsraces are encouraged and Tank builds become much harder to injure again

Now I disagree with some of these of course, as you can tell from the justifications I posted above for the rules I wrote down as my version. However, let’s face it: My preference is not everyone’s preference. You should go with what feels right at your table. Just make sure everyone understands that if the mechanics feel too much or too little, it’s okay for the rules to alter after a few sessions to try them out. (Don’t spring ‘I am altering the deal, pray I don’t alter it any further’ on your players. Darth Vader was the bad guy, GMs are not.)

Oh, and you will want to write down your grunts and players their default step-ranges, if the math proves frustrating. If you have a simple chart, you can just go ’16 AR is orange, so you get 1 Edge and they lose a soak die, go roll’. Might help with the bookkeeping.

Now I still want to discuss a few Edge-related qualities and such, and a few alternatives to houserules from my previous post, but let’s touch on those another time.