Shadowrun Play > Rules and such

[SR6] House Rules

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With the new edition up, here's a place to collect any house rules you develop/implement and would like to share.

Neat, I will try to update this post with peoples suggestions, as the SR5 thread ended up being somewhat difficult to search in.

Character creation
New priority chart, generally buffs lower attribute priorities and skills. Special column is slightly nerfed, but each choice is also a bit more impactful.

Cool, I'll kick it off with one in high demand:

How to make armor matter again.  The elimination of armor soak in 6e goes hand-in-hand with the damage reduction across the board.  You can't just add armor soak back in without unbalancing damage.  Here's some ideas to make armor matter:

1.  Replace Intuition with Armor on Defense Tests
This will create a delta between armored and unarmored folks. 
Also, if you really want your "street smart" Intuition specialists to Defend with Int:
1a.  Create a Quality that lets a character use Intuition instead of Reaction in Defense Tests.
Caveats: This rule will make "dodge" tanking even more effective on armor focused characters.  Augments that increase your armor rating can make this roll crazy, so I advise applying the "+4 augmented attribute max" rule to armor augments, or make only worn armor count in this roll.

Maybe you don't think armor soak is appropriate, but Edge doesn't matter enough.  Try one of these:

2. When comparing AR/DR - Instead of granting Edge, change the Soak Target Number
If the attacker has 4+ more AR, the defender soaks on 6's.  If the defender has 4+ more DR, the defender soaks on 4's. Caveat: Soaking on 6's is a bigger advantage to the attacker than soaking on 4's is to the defender.  Still may be ok on balance.

3. When comparing AR/DR - Instead of granting Edge, award dice.
This can be a static number when the 4+ threshold is reached, or one die per threshold of 2, etc.

4.  When comparing AR/DR - for every +-3 points, whoever has the lower number has to reroll one success, either on the attack roll or soak roll.
Up to some limit, like 3 or 4 dice.  This takes Armor out of the Edge granting business while retaining the most common use of edge: rerolls. With this rule, you never do more damage than you rolled. High AR makes the damage harder to resist, while high DR makes the attack possibly miss.
Edit: removed a surprise-related houserule that didn't use surprise correctly

Imaging scope.
When you are using an imaging scope at Medium, Far and Extreme range, your target cannot gain Edge by having a higher Defense Rating.

Humans and Edge can save Edge across multiple combat rounds to build up a maximum of 7 Edge points (or 8 for Humans) for that big play!

Humans and racial traits
You can’t select more than six total qualities at character creation, and the net bonus Karma cannot be more than 20.Humans receive 5 bonus karma to be spend on qualities to compensate that they don't have any racial traits, but the net bonus Karma limit of 20 still applies.

Gunnery and Manual operation
When using a weapon mounted on a vehicle, use Engineering + Logic (or Engineering + Agility for manual operation, like door guns on mounts)

Improved Ability
Cost: Athletics, Close Combat, Exotic Weapons, Firearms, Astral Combat Sorcery, Conjuring: 1.0 PP per level; other skills 0.5 PP per level

To prevent unlimited damage and area Amp up on spells are now limited to magic rating number of amps in each category (damage, area etc).

Max number of actions
Characters may never start a player turn with more than 6 Minor Actions. If they would have earned more through any circumstances, that number is reduced to 6

Range categories and Attack Rating
If a weapon does not have an Attack Rating in a certain range category, it cannot be used at that range. Also, if a weapon does not have an adjusted Attack Rating (after applying firing modes, accessories, statuses and ammunition etc) of 1 or more in a certain range category, it cannot be used with that combination at that range.

Cyberlimbs and condition monitor boxes
Each full cyberlimb adds one box to the character’s Physical Condition Monitor.

Cyberlimbs and armor
Full cyberlimbs can fit a maximum of 4 armor each, partial limbs a maximum of 3 armor each and hand/feet a maximum of 2 armor each.

Headware and cyberlimbs
Headware may also be installed in cyberlimbs, taking up capacity rather than essence.

In this firing mode you may either fire two rounds rapidly with two trigger pulls against a single target which will decrease the Attack Rating of your weapon by 2 and increase damage by 1. You may also fire just one round with one trigger pull, in which case there are no changes to a weapon's attributes.

Burst Firing:
You’ve got a fancy gun that pumps out multiple rounds with a single trigger pull. You can fire four rounds in an attack. The Attack Rating in this firing mode is decreased by 4. You can shoot a narrow burst against a single target which increase damage by 2, or make a wide burst against two targets, positioned no more than 2 meters apart and with no other targets (not friend nor foe) between them, by taking the multiple attacks minor action and splitting your dice pool. Wide burst increase damage of both attacks by 1.

Anticipation and full auto
Anticipation may not be used with Full Auto firing mode

All characters start the game with an Essence of 6. Characters can never have an Essence of 0 or less. If they do, they die.

Stacking of spells
The same spell being cast more than once on the same target will not stack. Instead only the instance with most net hits will count. This include spells such as Increase Attribute, Decrease Attribute and Elemental Armor, even if they affect different attributes or different elements.

Sim Modules
Sim modules, including the one build into control rigs, can be modified for hot-sim, which opens up the full range of VR experiences at the risk of frying your brain.

--- Quote from: MercilessMing on ---How to make armor matter again...
--- End quote ---
SR6 let your players wear the type of armor (and play the metatype or have the magical tradition or use the weapon etc etc) that fit their style.

I personally consider it a good thing that shadowrunners now can show off their tattoos or wear their open jackets rather than walking around with full battle armor with ballistic face masks like they are some sort of corporate HTR unit....

Given the back-and-forth on the functionality of shotguns, I put together a quick fix that I think sets them apart from SMGs and ARs while not making them ungodly overpowered.


Shotguns using buckshot fire a single shot as an Semi-Automatic shot, incurring all standard bonuses and penalties for SA firing. (This could be reflected in the stats for the gun)

Shotguns using buckshot with Semi-Automatic mode can make a Burst Fire shot by using two rounds, incurring all standard bonuses and penalties for BF firing.

Double barrel shotguns using buckshot can make a Burst Fire shot by expending both barrels simultaneously. Doing so incurs the standard penalty and bonus, but the shot cannot be split between two targets.

Shotgun Ammo

Shotgun ammo costs 15 per 10 rounds, and has an availability of 2(L).


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