Rigger Modifications 2/3: General mods

Explanations short because again, temporary sloppy rules.

Anti-Theft System (Vehicle-only):

Alarm system, can give audible alarm if non-authorized user approaches, can retaliate against unauthorized access with 12S(e)/-5.

Gun Port (Vehicle-only):

Lets someone fire in 90-degree cone from the car without exposing self, grants stable firing position (4 Recoil Compensation, does not combine with Underbarrel recoil compensation).

Mechanical Grapple/Arm:

Mechanical Grapple can be used to pick up or deposit items, while a Mechanical Arm offers finesse and can use human tools. Drone’s Strength equals Body, Drone’s Agility equals Pilot Rating. Length is Bodyx10 cm. Full Arm is a cyberarm with 15 Capacity, but cannot take Armor Enhancement. GM Fiat for other Enhancements.

Motorcycle Gyro (Motorcycle-only):

+2 on Crash Tests.

Improved/Off-Road Suspension (Wheeled+Treaded):

Off-Road -1/+1 Handling. Improved +1/-3 Handling (+Crash Test made every Combat Turn spent Off-Road).

Valkyrie Module (Vehicle-only):

Takes up 2 seats. Medical unit, can be used to stabilize and automatically or remotely treat people. Counts as a Rating 6 Medkit.

Weapon Mount:

Weapon Mounts are normally internal and have -2 Concealability when not in use. Concealed Weapon Mounts have -6 Concealability instead. Manual Mounts can be used by a physical gunner. Armored Mounts give the vehicle’s protection to the gunner.

Armor (Normal/Concealed):

Cannot exceed Body * 2, or Body * 3 for Drones.  Replaces existing armor. Normal Armor is always visible, Concealed has (at least) -4 Concealability. If the Armor Value of this modification exceeds Body, Acceleration is reduced by 1. If Acceleration is already 1, Speed is reduced by 1 instead.

Personal Armor (Vehicle-only):

Cannot exceed Body. When people inside the Vehicle are attacked, not only is the Vehicle’s Armor added to their soak test, the Personal Armor is added as well.

Special Armor Modification:

Modifies armor similarily to metahuman armor with Chemical Protection, Fire Resistance, Insulation, Nonconductivity or Radiation Shielding. Can be taken multiple times for different versions, but total sum of all ratings cannot exceed Body.

Tires (Wheeled-only):

Cost is per tire, so multiple needed for all vehicles. Run-Flat Tires do not take a -2 dice penalty when flat. Off-Road Tires count as Run-Flat and also grant -1/+1 Handling, stack with Off-Road Suspension.

Hardware Upgrade:

Required for Pilot upgrades. Replaces normal Device Rating, which impacts Data Processing, Firewall, program space, Noise and anything else involving Device Rating.

Pilot [Model]:

Rating cannot exceed Device Rating, so to increase Pilot one must first upgrade the Hardware. Pilots are designed for their specific model, while they can be illegally copied they cannot control other kinds of vehicles/drones. A Roto-Drone Pilot cannot control ANY other type of Drone, not even similar models.

Temporary Rules: Rigger Modififications 1/3

Since Rigger 5 won’t be out until at least Q1 2016, both my open events (Black Hearts!) and my normal campaign are lacking material that they desperately need. The only material we have is in Stolen Souls, which only presents costs and a fluff explanation, mechanics are missing.

So to give Riggers options, I have made temporary conversions of some vehicle modifications. Of course these have been changed here and there to my personal taste to fit SR5 better.

Warning! These are NOT meant as general houserules! They are solely meant as temporary rules for my own campaigns until the official material arrives.

We don’t know how vehicle modifications will be changed in SR5. The Weapon Mods system was also changed, and the thresholds would need adjusting because Extended Tests are now limited. As such I’m not bothering with slots at all here, and simply applying gm fiat and generic restrictions. One such example is the Special Armor Mod limitation. Modification Thresholds are unlisted so what your contact charges you for it is up to me.

(With Black Hearts Mr. Smith will not charge the players for mechanic costs, just for the parts.)

I have made two lists of vehicle modifications, each with their own post. The first is general vehicle mods, ranging from Armor and Weapon Mounts to Mechanical Arms and Pilot Upgrades. The second is all the sneaky stuff a Runner might need: Morphing License Plates, Chameleon Coating, Smuggling Compartments, Road Strip Ejectors, and so on.

General Vehicle Mods
Name Avail. Cost
Anti-Theft System 6R Body * 200¥
Gun Port 6R 500¥
Mechanical Arm 4/6 1,000¥/4,000¥
Motorcycle Gyro 8 Body * 300¥
Suspension (Off-Road or Improved) 4 Vehicle Cost * 25%
Valkyrie Module 10 5,000¥
Weapon Mount
   Normal 8F 2,500¥
   Heavy 14F 5,000¥
   Concealed +4 +3,000¥
Manual +1 +500¥
Armored +2 +2,000¥
Name Avail. Cost
Armor (Normal) 1~20 6R R * 200¥
Armor (Concealed) 1~20 12R R * 1,000¥
Personal Armor 1~10 (R)R R * 500¥
Special Armor 1~10 8 Rating * 500¥
Tires (Off-Road) 6 400¥ each
Tires (Run-Flat) 4 250¥ each
Hardware Upgrade 1~6 R*2 R^2 * 500¥
Pilot 1~6 R*2 R^2 * 500¥
Spy Vehicle Mods
Name Avail. Cost
Chameleon Coating 12R Body * 2,000¥
ECM 1~10 12F R * 1,000¥
Morphing License Plate 8F 1,000¥
Signature Masking 1~6 14F R * 2,000¥
Smuggling Compartment 6F R * 1,750 ¥
Shielded +6F +R * 1,500¥
Spoof Chips 8F 500¥
Vehicle Tag Eraser 6F Body * 250¥
Name Avail. Cost
Oil-Slick Sprayer 8F 500¥
Road Strip Ejectors 12F 800¥
Spike Strip 8R 200¥
Zapper Strip 12R 2,500¥
Smoke Projector 6R 700¥

Black Hearts & Updates page

First about Updates: WordPress allows for both posts and pages. Since a page is permanent, it can be hard to realize an update has been made. With a post you can simply reschedule it to appear as a recent publication. So an Updates page has been made and added to the menu, where changes to the permanent pages will be written down.

Today’s updates are quite simple: The houserules index had some links added, and the Black Hearts pages have been added.

Black Hearts is the spiritual successor of Wild Things. Its information page has been added to the menu in both english and dutch, which includes dates and chargen rules. Of course sample characters will also be available again.

Black Hearts is an open campaign where the team has a fixed employer, namely the UCAS government. The goverment will provide the team with some necessities, such as several fake IDs, and also will give them as much intel as possible. There will still be plenty of need for legwork on-site though…

Each session will again be stand-alone, though a common thread will be present and build up to the season finale, so to speak.

Black Hearts will, unlike Wild Things, actually take place in civilization making the Matrix actually relevant. This means a good commlink is now rather relevant even for normal characters.

However, the Sample Characters will not include any Hackers or Riggers, because writing an adventure for both with and without risks devaluating those characters. Instead, these characters are allowed in chargen for those intending to attend all sessions. Please contact me if you want to make one of those, so we don’t end up with half a dozen Riggers or Hackers…

– MC

Out with the old, in with the new

Wild Things was above all an experiment so to speak. I wanted to try out a short homebrew Open Event Campaign as alternative to Missions, due to complications with running those. This involved runs with a reliable upfront Johnson where negotiating with them wasn’t needed (meant to result in shorter runs), and where several essential tools would be supplied.

I personally consider the experiment a success. It drew several people to try out Shadowrun, gave more flavour to the characters and came with more freedom reward-wise. With Missions rewards are strict because two teams running the same Mission need to have the same shots at the same rewards, tables need to be balanced compared to each other.

One downside: Timing is still tough, because flavor scenes are quite fun to have but too many of them can result in a run taking up a lot of time. However the timing was still doable, and I do intend to get better at it.

Yes, I intend to do another short campaign like Wild Things. The date and details aren’t final yet, I still have to cross my Ts and dot my Is. However, currently the goal is to do a 5-run campaign starting the 22nd of September. Like Wild Things (and the normal short Casus Belli RPGs) it will be one run every fortnight starting at 19:30 and preferably ending the runs at 22:00. I’ll make that 22:30 officially based on the results so far with Wild Things, but that will then in fact be the intended ‘end-at-most-at’ time, not ‘we-might-go-over-this’.

The campaign will be called Black Hearts and will feature a Black-Ops team of the UCAS (United Canadian and American States) doing the dirty work normal employees cannot do. Think Mission Impossible, with runs about theft, betrayal, wetwork, espionage and a grand conspiracy…

There will be three notable differences between Black Hearts and Wild Things. First of all most runs will of course be in an urban environment, which means civilians and public appearance have to actually be taken into account. As upside that means sneakily dealing with security, urban camouflage and more fun runner stuff.

The second is that, due to these urban environments, the Matrix will actually come into play. So Deckers, Riggers and *shudders* Technomancers will be allowed. However, I am only allowing these for own characters, I will not make Sample Characters for them.

The reason is that these characters deserve a chance to shine, so I want to be able to construct a run properly to give them a good role in the story. With Missions Riggers tend to be rather out of place and not have a chance to do their good stuff, plus they tend to break the runs sometimes.

The third difference will be Chargen. I experimented with Life Modules with Wild Things, and I really liked it. It meant the characters had actual weaker secondary skills they could employ, plus they had a lot of extra Knowledge Skills and an actual story to them. There were some significant downsides though, such as a lengthy character creation process and characters resembling each other too much on essential points. Such as having only ONE non-Uncouth character asides from the Face.

The lengthy character creation process is the biggest point here. If someone wants to make their own character, I want them to be able to do that without being forced to use a spreadsheet. Furthermore Life Modules, while less so than karmagen, still suffers from Choice Paralysis. So the chargen baseline will be Priority.

However. Life Modules did have some good sides to it, and since it’s a Black Ops campaign I want characters to have a decent bit of skill flexibility. So I’ll perform some restrictions and add a few extras.

Again, no final details yet but the idea I’m currently working with is Priority with Skills A and Sum-To-Seven-Without-As for the other Priorities. So with B being worth 3 and E being worth 0, that means BBDE/BCCE/BCDD/CCCD as possible remaining priorities. This is 1 higher than normal Priority, which is basically sum to ten, to compensate for the restrictions on the single A Priority.

I’ll also give some extra knowledge skills freebie points, and likely also extra contact stuff and several free Fake SINs. This lets players focus their resources on their own characters.

So that’s the summary of my future plans. More info on Black Hearts, and its own information page, in the near future. Talk to ya later, chum.