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.

6 thoughts on “Houserules: Edge (4/4: Qualities & more)

  1. Sitzkrieg says:

    Would simply requiring that edge gained must be used either in the roll it was gained from or (in the case of no roll like an NPC vs a static number) the next available roll against that same adversary or group of adversaries be too harsh? Or even just not have it carry over to the next encounter?

    I haven’t played SR6 but the edge recharging midgame and carrying over from encounter to encounter feels odd to me. Why should the fact that you successfully bargained with an NPC to get a password help you in shooting a guy three hours later? Again, I haven’t played and am just initially considering getting back into Shadowrun but the edge system feels very off to me as written. That would put added emphasis on keeping your edge stat high to have that added pool to use when you REALLY need it.

    • Part of it would be natural confidence, I guess. You do get wiped back to your limit after every encounter, so there’s restrictions there. And if Edge drained that fast, it wouldn’t be an improvement. If on the other hand, you go ‘natural Edge at start of each encounter’, you risk making that high Edge stat way too powerful and forcing everyone to build Edge monkeys again.

      As for how it feels: Since each point has just small benefits, it feels far less problematic than SR5’s ‘A 7-Edge character can dominate whatever rolls they want’. Yes, someone might recover their own Edge from 1 to 3 during a social encounter, but those 2 points are nothing. And a lot of Edge is still temporary. I do agree I want more Edge to be temporary, but completely erasing edge-recovery would feel like a battle of attrition, rather than a chance to be cool.

      • What if you simple moved the cap over from “max edge gained per turn” instead to “max edge that carries over”? Again, I haven’t played so I may be missing nuance but that would solve seemingly two problems you mentioned… that characters can be cool (since the limit gained per turn is removed) and the benefit of setting up the ultimate edge situation via qualities/gear/situation is still in part but not completely temporary.

      • If there’s no limit to the gain, people will be trying to grind reasons for gaining it per turn, though, and be throwing that around all the time. And right now your Edge attribute basically is max edge that carries over, no?

  2. It’s a circular argument unfortunately and you have to remove one of the concerns at least to get to a solution. Yes, your edge is the max that carries over but there is also nothing stopping someone min maxed for high edge who blows all their edge during every important combat encounter from “refilling the tank” during relatively minor but necessary social interactions in prep for the next combat encounter. There is always a pathway for abuse no matter the problem or perceived solution. I’m not experienced enough (i.e. zero experience) to know which is more abusable though but I don’t have an issue with a limit both on both (max per turn and max carry over). YMMV. Thematically, I have less of an issue with characters (and NPCs) doing cool things when plans come together to grant edge than with unrelated encounters refilling the edge tank for later.

    • Actually, the GM is there to stop it. The GM has final say on Edge gain, after all. So if they go ‘this is easy for you, so you’re not building up Edge here’, that’s how it goes. Plus I doubt many combat monsters will take up social methods to rebuild their Edge.

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