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[SR5] House Rules

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We all love the Shadowrun setting and adore the Shadowrun game, but not every rule is appropriate for every table. What if you want your game to be more Pink Mowhawk, or more Intrigue? What if you want grenades to be less lethal--or more? How do you tweak the game to suit the needs of you and your players?

Post it here, we want to know.

I want to start by saying that I love the setting and mystique of Shadowrun. Its probably one of the best, if not the best renditions of the cyberpunk genre out there. That said, I've played several sessions of Shadowrun 5e and at every turn it feels like the rules are getting in the way of experiencing that world. The players spend time planning only to find out that their depth of tactical choice is narrow, or we have to spend five to ten minutes resolving a group of mooks shooting someone. Time and again there are breaks in my player's and my own immersion because the rules are so weird. Lethality has been amped up, but its for the sake of making a "grittier game" rather than using it as the tool it can be. Rules still require a ton of cross-referencing, often with contradictory results--this creates a phenominally high barrier for entry.

I either have to keep my players ignorant or let them spend two weeks learning the rules. There are a few things that the system does well. It manages to make shopping fun, and you feel like you've attained actual expertise by understanding how certain pieces fit together into an effective character. Its also really fun to plan out your plan of action and feel like a paramilitary unit... even if planning is actually more fun than doing. In order to address some of these concerns and more I have started developing this list of houserules, eventually to be compiled into a modified word document with the normal rules.

This is a work in progress. I'm posting things here prematurely largely because linking people to this post is easier than spamming their chat piecemeal. I welcome feedback, but I plan to keep discussion an debate to a minimum.

Creation and Advancement
- Karma does not have a scaling cost, except for Initiation an Submersion. Instead, use the following costs:
     Attribute (Increasing to 1-6): 20 Karma
     Attribute (Increasing to 7+): 30 Karma
     Skills (Increasing to 1-6): 7 Karma
     Skills (Increasing to 7-13): 19 Karma
     Initiation / Submersion: 10+Rank*8

- Initiation / Submersion may be purchased at creation with starting Karma.

- Condition Monitor: There is a single condition monitor. It is 10+(Essence + Body + Willpower)/2, rounded up. You receive a -1 Wound Penalty when you have 9 Boxes left, -2 at 7 Boxes, -3 at 5 Boxes, -4 at 3  Boxes, -5 at 1 Box. Track damage like in WoD ( "/" = Stunning, "X" = Physical). Damage beyond a full track first "upgrades" Stunning damage to Physical. If your Condition Monitor is full of Physical Damage then any further damage goes into your Overflow Boxes. Damage to Overflow is always Physical.

- Initiative is equal to 6 + (Reaction + Intuition)/2, rounded up + 2d6


Combat Resolution
- Damage: Do not add net hits to an attack's DV.
- Soak Rolls: Supply flat Damage Reduction of (Body + Armor after AP)/3, rounded up. Spending a point of Edge increases this to (Body + Armor after AP)/2.
- Converting Physical Damage to Stun: Damage less than the armor's (Damage Reduction)*2 is converted to Stunning. Note that spending Edge effects this.

Called Shots
- Called Shot: You may now combine multiple called shots at once. Their penalties stack.
- Called Shot: Vitals now offers +1 DV for every -2 Penalty you take to your attack roll. The penalty and bonus is only capped by how many dice you have in your dicepool.

Explosive / AoE Attacks
- Scatter: There is no Threshold for explosive weapons. All AoE attacks scatter (2d6-Hits*2) Meters in a random direction, to a minimum of 0. Airburst systems allow you to reroll your scatter dice and direction, keeping whichever pair of rolls you want.
- Being Hit by Multiple Splash Weapons: This isn't a thing. You take damage separately from multiple explosions, applying Damage Reduction separately as well.
- Blasts in a Confined Space: This is a flat increase of 100% damage, before reductions, if the explosion can not initially escape through any surrounding barriers. As long as there is an outlet, this rule does not apply.

To-Do List
- Equipment. Oh God this is going to be a lot of work.
- Riggers. Which I will work on when I hate myself enough to bother.
- Magic, which is actually fairly high-priority. I've given Technomancers and Deckers too much love, comparatively.
- Managing the Three-Worlds concept (Meatspace, Matrix, Astral) better. This should be done before anything else, but I'm not sure how to do it yet.


Locations in the Matrix
Physical location is largely meaningless in the Matrix. Devices and Commlinks are capable of transmitting GPS data--and by default everything does--but that doesn't mean they have to. People in many professions--Shadowrunners, Security Guards, children who don't want their parents to know where they are--turn that functionality off. There is a mild stigma against having one's GPS turned off, but there is an even bigger stigma towards asking about it in any context other than tight security. After all, why do you need to know where that 10-year-old lives, you pervert? A device that is not actively transmitting GPS data may still be found with the Trace Device action.

The Graph
There is a well-known and rather large Matrix Host that is essentially a map of the entire world. People can zoom out, in, and even walk the streets of their favorite city. If they have Simsense enabled, they can even experience the pollution of whatever sprawl they want in real time! The Persona of anyone who has their GPS turned on appears on the Map in their real life location, and personas on the Graph can appear on other people's AR display. The interior of non-public buildings are usually not mapped, but someone can get a list of all GPS-enabled devices in a particular building and if that building has an attached Host, enter that Host.

Loose Devices and PANs
Only Commlinks, Cyberdecks, Living Personas and RCCs naturally have a Firewall rating. Devices without a Firewall rating are totally without protection against wayward hackers. Anyone with a Cyberdeck or a Living Persona may treat any device not attached to a PAN or a Directory as though they had 3 Marks on it. Additionally, such Devices do not have a firewall rating.

In Matrix terms, all Devices on a PAN or a WAN are merged into a singular device. All icons may be manipulated or harmed by manipulating the Master device. Any Marks on the Master also count as Marks on all of its Slaves, and visa versa. Registering or removing a device from a PAN or WAN takes roughly one minute worth of work. There is no limit to the number of devices that can be in a PAN or a WAN.

Hosts are further subdivided into Directories. Each Directory contains any number of files and devices. Marks on a Directory count as Marks on all attached Files and Devices, and an attack on a Directory is applied to one of its attached Files or Devices (attacker's choice). A person may use the Brute Force or Hack on the Fly actions against a Directory they are not in, as long as they are in that Directory's Host. All other Matrix and Resonance Actions require that that the Hacker "Access" a particular Directory. One can access a Directory with the "Enter Host" action, and only one Directory may be accessed at a time. Accessing a new directory immediately severs the Hacker's connection to the old one. Intrusion Countermeasures may be considered in any or every Directory at the same time.

By default, a Host can have up to (Host Rating) Directories, and may spread (Host Rating)*2 points of Protection amongst those Directories, with no one Directory getting more than (Host Rating) Protection. A Directory rolls Protection + [Host's Matrix Attribute] to defend against all actions, and is incapable of actions on its own. Many Hosts have at least one Directory with no protection as a sort of store front or face, where visitors can enter. Many Directories are also protected with a Data Bomb. Beyond that, its merely a question of how much the Host wants a potential Hacker to have access to at once.

Short-Wave Hacking
Adding this later. Its going to cover "Point my Cyberdeck at that camera and I hack it."

Long-Range Hacking
What's required to make that ganger holding a gun to your friend's head jam when you're on the other side of the continent??

- Matrix Actions are all resisted with Intuition + [Matrix Attribute]
- Computer may be used like the Leadership skill, but only applying to Pilot Programs, Agents, and Sprites (who may not normally be affected by Leadership).
- Computer's new Rally option only applied to multiple targets if used through an RCC.
- Marks have gone from a 1-4 scale to a 1-5 scale. 5 Marks is Ownership.
- Not having an Attack or Hacking attribute is the same as having it at 0. Edge and other cap-breakers may be used normally.
- Someone inside VR may open up a window screen displaying their meat body's statistics and to "send commands," just like someone can use AR to view the Matrix. Mechanically, you can be aware of what goes on around your body and even perform actions with it, but you receive a -12 penalty on all actions and defense rolls performed through your meatsuit.

Existing Matrix Actions
- All Matrix Actions that are Complex Actions, except Full Matrix Defense and Control Device, become Simple Actions.
- Data Spike counts as your "Attack" for that initiative pass.
- Erase Mark is now a [Data Processing] Action.
- You may not take a -6 or -10 penalty to apply multiple Marks to a target through Brute Force or Hack on the Fly, but see Multiple Matrix Attack, below.
- All actions that require at least one Mark, except Enter Host, increase the number of required Marks by one.
- Spoof Command requires 3 Marks.
- The defender does not gain a Matrix Defense against the following Matrix Actions: Control Device, Crash Program, Edit File, Format Device, Snoop, Spoof Command.
- Snoop only lasts as long as your Mark remains on the target.

New Matrix actions

Manual Quarantine
(Interrupt Action, -5 Initiative)
Marks Required: 3
You personally monitor all incoming and outgoing traffic from your device or persona, allowing you to better notice and counter intrusions. By decreasing your initiative by 5, you add your Electronic Warfare skill ranks to all Matrix Defense tests for the rest of the Initiative Pass. Any Matrix Defense test that utilizes this bonus receives a Limit of your Persona's [Data Processing].

Corrupt Access
(Interrupt Action, -5 Initiative)
Marks Required: 3
You actively hunt down errant data in your registry, using your own Decking skills to corrupt and and cut off any data that shouldn't be running. By decreasing your initiative by 5, you add your Cybercombat skill ranks to all Matrix Defense tests against [Attack] actions for the rest of the Initiative Pass. Any Matrix Defense test that utilizes this bonus receives a Limit of your Persona's [Attack]. This is still not considered an Attack action--you do not receive additional Matrix Damage on a failed defense.

Run Analysis
(Simple Action)
Marks Required: 2
Dicepool: Software + Logic [Data Processing]
You may create a dynamic combat simulation of every possible action a given target may take. This simulation creates a network between all involved devices (usually weapons) and updates in real time, giving advice on how to best approach a combat situation. Mechanically, this Matrix Action uses a Commlink or other device to "Mark" a target in meatspace. Hits on this this test are applied as a penalty to any Defense roll made by the "Mark" against anyone who attacks with a wirelessly enabled weapon while also using an image link and/or smartlink. The person who used this action may decide that the Mark only receives the penalty against certain attacks. Marks required for this action must be on the device doing the processing, and that device being compromised or bricked causes the penalty to immediately cease.

Multiple Matrix Attack
(Free Action)
Marks Required: Owner
Dicepool: None (Data Processing Action)
This action may only be performed through your Persona, and allows you to perform a single Matrix Action multiple times. This may modify any one other Matrix Action performed during this initiative pass, and functions like performing Multiple Attacks. This action may not be performed on actions that do not have an opposed roll or Resonance actions.

Debug Code
(Simple Action)
Marks Required: Owner
Dicepool: None (Data Processing Action)
You open up and tinker with the core functionality of your Commlink or Cyberdeck. This grants you +1 Bonus Die or a +1 Bonus to your Limit on the next Matrix Action you perform. You may use Debug Code multiple times in a row, applying a cumulative bonus. If you sue a non-Matrix, non-Interrupt action then this bonus is lost. No single roll may benefit from more than [Data Processing] uses of this action.

- Technomancers assign the following priorities to their living persona, rather than basing their Living Persona off of their mental attributes: (Resonance +1), (Resonance), (Resonance -1), (Resonance -2).
- Technomancers have a Device Rating equal to their Resonance/2.
- When threading a complex form, the Technomancer may choose whether the target becomes aware of the attack on a failed action or a successful one.
- Threading a Complex Form is still a Complex Action.
- Complex Forms are always opposed by Intuition + [Matrix Attribute]
- A Technomancer may learn any Matrix Action that targets another Device in the Matrix that is not an interrupt action as a Complex Form. Doing so changes the Dice Pool to a Software + Resonance [Level] roll vs. Intuition + Firewall. There is always a resist roll, although Resonance Actions never require Marks. The Fading for these Complex Forms is (Level + Required Marks -1).

Existing Complex Forms
-  Infusion of [Matrix Attribute]'s bonus is capped at +4 rather than twice the modified attribute, to be in line with other augmentations.
- Editor is just Edit File as a Complex Form.
- Puppeteer is a Simple Test. On the target's next action phase, they must succeed in an Intuition + Firewall test with a Threshold equal to the Technomancer's net hits or perform that action instead of whatever they were going to do.
- Resonance Channel applies to all Noise, but increase its FV to Level + 0
- Pulse Storm gains a duration of S.

New Complex Forms

Resonance Emulation
Target: Device Duration: S FV: Level + 2
Select up to one common or hacking program per two Levels this Complex Form is Threaded at and make a Software + Resonance [Level] vs. (Number of Programs Currently Running on the Device)x2. If successful, the target immediately begins running the selected programs.

- Diagnostics allows you to use the Sprites [Level] as the Limit when using the target item. The Teamwork bonus only applies to build or repair an object.
- A Technomancer may grant a Sprite up to 1 Optional Power per three levels of the Sprite.
- Sprites may select any Common or Hacking program as an optional power.

Updated Unwired Sprites
- To be done later.

- Fine as-is.

Updating Unwired Echos
- Amplification may be purchased. It takes a free action to use, but grants Noise Reduction equal to half of the Technomancer's Grade (rounded up) on one action.
- Biowire is an option. A Technomancer may have upload a total of (Grade x3) points of Skillsoft, with no individual Skillsoft being higher than (Grade or 6, whichever is lower). The Technomancer must have the Skillsoft on a datastorage he owns and the Emulation Complex Form is not necessary.
- E-Sensing may be purchased. It allows the Technomancer to know the exact presence, nature and location of all devices within 100 meters who are not successfully running silent against the Technomancer. This includes devices not currently connected to the Matrix.
- Living ECM may be purchased, and functions as presented. However, use SR5's rules for Jammers. Note that like a normal Jammer, the Technomancer may choose to exclude certain devices, et cetera.
- Macro functions like Fork, but for Resonance Actions. It imposes a -2 penalty to both the Threading and Resist Fading rolls.
- Multiprocessing lowers the penalty for using your meatsuit while in VR by 2 per Grade.
- Skinlink may be purchased, an allows a Technomancer to directly connect to devices through touch.
- Sprite Link exists and functions as presented.
- Swap exists and may be purchased an unlimited number of times. It reduces the total penalty from sustaining complex forms, not the penalty per form.
- Acceleration exists as a basic Echo. It may be purchased up to three times, granting +1 Reaction and +1d6 to Physical Initiative per time it is purchased. This bonus counts as Augmentation.

Aight. Done.

If you want feedback, perhaps you should add motivations for your houserules first.


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