Suggesting some house rules

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« on: <01-26-16/1742:59> »
I played with the following house rules several times and they seem to be good. Therefore I want to share them and would be interested in any comments.

The house rules have three goals:

1. Make the scene more prominent in the game.
2. Make the difference between different meta types more prominent.
3. Encourage team work and assistance from the beginning.

House rule 1 -- Scene Ends
When a scene ends, in addition to the rules on the mission card two things happen. Those two rules are applied before the mission rules (like buying new cards) are applied.

1. Each player can discard as many cards as she wants. After discarding cards, each player can draw cards up to the number of cards the character (meta type + upgrade) draws at the beginning of the game.
2. Each character gains an amount of nuyen she starts with (meta type + upgrades + double role).

House rule 2 -- Upgrade: Teamwork
We play with an additional upgrade which is costs 10 Karma. The rule for the upgrade "Teamwork" is:

Once per scene, during another runners turn, you can play one of your cards as an assist with a damage of 1 <color of one of your roles> + 1 colorless. Or, once per scene, during your turn, another runner can play one of her cards as a 1 <color of one of your roles> assist.

In practice every runner get a marker on her runner card. She can use this marker for one colorful and one colorless damage during another runners turn and has to discard one card or she can use the marker to make one colorful damage during her own turn, but some other runner needs to discard a card for that.

House rule 3 -- Starting Karma / Upgrades
Every runner starts with 25 Karma and as a default every runner has the following two upgrades 'Combat Fu' / 'Minor Knack' / 'Button Masher' / 'Competence' + 'Teamwork'.

House rule 4 -- Mission awards: Milkrun
When you draw cards during your Draw & Buy step, draw one additional card. Karma penalty: -2 Karma.

House rule 1
Card cycling: Adding an option to cycle the deck after a scene ends, feels like the right thing to do in order to separate scenes within the game play. Making the number of cards depending on the starting cards, makes this character stat more important. Imho it fits also good into the setting of having a very short rest during two scenes and preparing for the next wave of obstacles by cycling some of the own cards.
Nuyen: Makes the game slightly easier and improves the importance of the starting nuyen stat. The main reason adding this rule was, to balance the importance of this stat with the other stats. Additionally, it allows to buy more cool cards from the black marked and improves the fun.

House rule 2
For me the game lives from its teamwork, but all the basic cards do not have any assist. Therefore in the beginning of the game it does not make to much sense to pay attention to turns of the other runners as only the runner, whose turn is, can play any cards. This house rule adds the opportunity two collaborate from the beginning. Additionally, it ensures that you have one guaranteed damage of each color. This reduces the amount of bad luck and frustration. If you loose it is because of some miscalculations or some risks you have taken. It is not simply because you get 4 red obstacles with no face in your team. By discarding a card, you still need to pay for your contribution ("everything has a cost in Shadowrun"). Making the assist stronger than using the ability in your own turn increases the attention you pay to other runner's turns. Making it once per scene increases the importance of the scene. Making it an upgrade leads to the option to dismiss this cool thing for a different upgrade. (But I probably would recommend to not count the 'Combat Fu' ... + 'Teamwork' upgrade against the 4 slot upgrade limit as for me this are basic game mechanics that are to important to be traded away.)

House rule 3
The two upgrade proposed as default upgrades add new game mechanics and new decisions to the game, which I find crucial for a fun game of Shadowrun Crossfire. I do not want anyone to play without these. (Another way would be to simply declare them as basic rules.)

House rule 4
Especially in the beginning, I liked the Milkrun option because you can get fairly fast through your deck. The cards you have bought from the black marked can be played several times and it makes the game much easier without destroying the game mechanics. For me, this is a good way to learn how the game works and to get to know how the different obstacles and crossfire cards behave.

Any suggestions? Any different house rules? Does these house rules make the game to easy for you? Or do they break the game in any respect that is important for you? Any comments are appreciated!


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« Reply #1 on: <01-28-16/1316:13> »
House rule 1a doesn't seem too bad, but it waters down the mage's ability to do some neat deck manipulation. The mage might be more fun right now because the other roles don't get that ability. Otherwise it sounds ok.
House rule 1b would kill the difficulty level of the game. I agree that the starting stats are less important than they should be, but the game (or at least runs that use that rule) would have to be redesigned to take that into account.

House rule 2: the game definitely needs more assists, and having a starting card (or being able to do it with any one basic of your type) that works as an assist would be nice. Could be added as a karma upgrade, but for now a house rule starting players with it would probably work.

House rule 3: I have heard of a lot of people starting with karma. Karma costs as they are currently may be a little high, causing the game to require grinding.

House rule 4: That would make the more difficult runs more accessible, and sounds like it's in line with current karma benefits.


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« Reply #2 on: <01-29-16/1520:02> »
One might want to modify House rule 1b to:

Each character gains half of the amount of nuyen she starts with (meta type + upgrades + double role) rounded down, i. e. ork 0 nuyen, troll and humen 1 nuyen, elf and dwarf 2 nuyen.

This should make this house rule less disruptive and still gives a boost to the nuyen character stat.


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« Reply #3 on: <03-10-16/1448:15> »
I suggest that anyone can use one of their basic cards as an assist once per mission. If they do, then _everyone_ will suffer a -1 karma penalty if mission successful. If 2 runners do this, then -2 karma for everyone if mission successful.


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« Reply #4 on: <03-19-17/1531:48> »
Just recently started playing a week ago.

Many of the above seem to be too much of a change.

The difficulty & randomness of the game seem a bit high.

I have 1 suggestion for game play & a tweak to the campaign rules.

1.  Delay the Crossfire deck by 1 round.  So the 1st draw for a 4/3/2 person game goes from rounds 1/2/3 respectively to rounds 2/3/4.
I think that is just enough to take a bit of the sting out of the game.

For the campaign system I'd like to see 2 changes.
2.  Some form of Keeping the Ending Nuyen from 1 game to the next.
So if you are a Human that starts with 3 NY, but ended the previous game with 2, then you start with 5 on the next game.
This shouldn't be that hard since you are already tracking Karma for the Campaign.

3.  Revamp the Karma penalty per tier for upgrades.
Either remove it or at least reduce it to 0-5-5-5, but declare no duplicate upgrades, or, stagger it to be 0-5-10-15 instead of 0-10-10-10.
Right now with 15 Karma I'm finding it a bit annoying at the choices I have & how most of it will be unused.