Houserules: Attribute Boost

There are quite a few ways to raise your attributes in Shadowrun. For Adepts there are two magical means: Permanent through Improved [Attribute] and temporarily (with Drain risks and a randomness factor) through Attribute Boost (Attribute). With inherent values being a thing now, its description was changed leading to conflict and the following two possible houserules:

Rule: Strength Boost impacts melee damage

The Attribute Boost (Attribute) Adept Power has a bit of a problematic description. It has an inclusive effect (affects dicepool) and an exclusive effect (does not affect Physical Limit and Initiative). There’s a few things that are neither. For Agility this would be your movement rate, and for Strength your base melee damage. It seems likely that these are not meant to be impacted, but with Strength this runs into a small problem.

Now for Agility, you get bonus offense dice so hit far better. For Body you can resist more damage. Reaction lets you evade more attacks. But Strength’s dicepools are near-always useless. Being able to lift more for a short while isn’t that useful a power, and running has quite little actual use.

Furthermore, it heavily limits melee Adepts. They already need a second attribute compared to the ranged Adepts, and need more Powers to make that better, but now they also MUST get either ware or a very expensive Improved Strength Power instead. So to give Physical Adepts the opportunity to punch harder, we would make Strength Boost also boost the damage of melee weapons.

The downside is that this means Physical Adepts can far more easily punch things, making Improved Strength not as interesting. But the same goes for the other 3 Physical Attributes already. And Attribute Boost costs a Simple Action to activate, while melee attacks are Complex Actions. So activating Strength Boost means the Adept cannot attack in melee in their first Initiative Pass.

Rule: Agility Boost impacts movement rate

Similarily, one could allow for Agility Boost to influence an Adept’s movement rates, letting them cover more ground when under the effect of Agility Boost. With 2~3 hits this means 4~6 walking and 8~12 running distance extra.

However, movement rate is more of a passive value than melee damage, and Agility is not in the Physical Limit. So it’s far more likely that Agility Boost was never intended to boost movement rate. Since Agility is already the main attack stat, it can be said it does not need this extra boost. Especially since one can already use Sprinting Tests to cover more ground, at a price.