Magic house rules

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« Reply #15 on: <09-04-10/2211:12> »
@ Stan:  Only have done two runs so far.  I've played in several SR games, this is my first time running it.  I've GMed D&D for about a decade prior to branching out to other games...and SR is differentl to run than D&D in many ways.  Also, when I played, there was no magic.  (Aside from a physical adept, that is.)  So it was a completely new experience.  For me, it is much different to read a rule in comparison to seeing it in game-play.

I couldn't agree more.  I've been GMing Shadowrun for a little over a year, and while I'd played in a 2nd ed. game a while back, running 4th ed. was new for me.  My experience with the game has been that very many characters are like glass cannons.  That is, they can dish out big, powerful attacks and effects when needed, but that everyone's pretty squishy when they're on the receiving end.  This even goes for well armored trolls.  So the experience you've had with the mage being able to one-shot opponents is probably going to be relatively common.

To be honest, that's actually one of the things I like about the game.  Firefights (magical or otherwise) tend to be brutal and very unforgiving of mistakes.  Combat tends not to play out like in D&D where there's a long exchange of attacks on both sides.  I tend to find that combat is relatively short, and that even very powerful characters tend to drop easily if they're outnumbered or use poor tactics.  Other people in this thread have made lots of good suggestions as to things that threaten a spell caster:  drones, spirits, house rules on drain, etc.  But based on how the combats I've seen have tended to play out, just a handful of armed opponents with a clean line of sight to a character is really all you need to ruin his day.


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« Reply #16 on: <09-05-10/0350:16> »
Having played Shadowrun since it came out in '89, I have to say that mages are, and have always been, nasty opponents.  Nevermind the pure damage aspect of it, their versatility will allow a team to keep the opposition guessing with the varied tactics the team is capable of.  And, yes, at first it seems that mages are incredibly powerful or nigh unstoppable save for magic.

The kicker is that, while mages are rare, the world has learned (well, the people who make it their business anyway) how to deal with mages and magic.  Most mages don't take cyber or bioware, and that can be a serious hinderance.  Also recall that while magic is rare, firearms are not.  Nor are the tactics needed to deal with interlopers.  Suppressive fire works wonders for keeping people's heads down, as no one wants to die.

That's another thing about Shadowrun (which I really love).  Someone mentioned it earlier:  Most folks are like glass cannons.  This is mirrored from the real world, where people are generally pretty squishy.  Anyone not heading for cover when the bullets start flying is in big trouble.  As an example, I started running my gaming group through the new SR4 rules some time back (it was still new then).  One of the players chose to play a street sam (the archetype from the book, to be precise) as combat was something that came more easily to him.  When the fighting started in a junkyard, he chose to stand in the middle of the lane and just shoot back.  He was used to combat in D&D, where you could pull those stunts and not be punished by them.  When the bad guys started firing back, I didn't hold back on him.  It was only an extraordinarily lucky damage resistance roll (he had good armor, but still) that kept him from dying on the spot.  Since then, he keeps to cover as much as he can.

The name of the game is SHADOWrun.  The players need to keep to the shadows because there will always be more of the opposition thant the runners.  Don't be afraid to throw large forces at them (corps have TONS of folks to use).  Watch those real life cop shows (the reality ones, not the fiction).  Notice how many folks the cops use to take down even a small number of perps.  Overwhelming force is only bad when it is used against you.  The runners need to duck in, duck out, and stay as quiet as they can.  The opposition will not throw "balanced" encounters at them, because that is really dumb.  Think like you would if you were dealing with the situation IRL somehow, and the answer will come to you.

And tell them to remember this mantra:

Shoot straight, Conserve ammo.  And never, ever make a deal with a dragon.
There is no overkill.

Only "Open fire" and "I need to reload."


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« Reply #17 on: <09-05-10/1113:09> »
Couldn't agree more with you The_Gun_Nut, one of the main aspect of the game is that most fight or encounter might turn into a lethal event. Always try to be superior in numbers to your ennemies, and about the mages, I've run quite a few games now and even if mages are strong, like every players, they tend to forget things, you can use that as a game master. Just to give you an exemple, one of my player had a shaman that was always using spells to transform into an hawk,no problem there, was pretty useful and not many people could see he wasn't a real bird when he was transformed. But one day, he encountered two mages and one of them was bright enough to check the surrounding in the astral, when he saw him, he just send a single mana bolt, not even powerful enough to kill him, but powerful enough to knock him down though. All that big story just to say, the guy had taken the habit of shooting spells at 100m high in the sky, but never thought about the fact that if he was hit hard, he would die, not from the hit, but from hitting the ground at 30miles per hour. So most of the time they will cause their own desmise. Mages or street sam, hacker or smuggler, rarely saw someone that wasn't overconfident at least once in a while.

Btw thanks for posting that subject street.mage
(>) ...and I would have made it too, except for those nosey kids & their stupid dog...
(>) excerpt of The Smiling Bandit's taped deposition, Knight Errant casefile #E385h-0516

Shinobi Killfist

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« Reply #18 on: <09-06-10/2216:37> »
On what I'll call the normal level a mage blasting corp sec goon #5 a stun bolt even overcast it no worse than a street sam and his gun of choice.  Where a mage can break down in AoE spells which are much more effective than grenades even with the SA grenade launcher, and with hard targets.  As an example in an adventure we went on my mage took out two citimasters in a fight, yes he was min maxed but other characters need to pull out the heavy guns in order to do this stuff.  A mage's direct combat spell substitute for the full range of Sam weaponry and they end up being  a lot more concealed than the thunderbolt gauss rifle.  That by itself could be balanced out but then the mage has access to healing spells, detection spells, defensive spells, utility things like levitate, oh and he can summon spirits.  There isn't one little thing that is easy to point to and say if I fix that mages will be balanced, there is a pile of issues added together that cause the problems people have.  One issue is easy to fix for a GM, a pile of issues is hard to fix.