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[SR6] House Rules

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Positive Quality: Brute Strength Style (0 Point Cost) Why rely on finesse and fancy footwork.  Just Bash, Bash, Bash away!  The character uses Strength as their primary attribute with their close combat skill.  AR with Close Combat Skills is now Strength or Weapon AR (whichever is higher).

Rationale: Sixthworld seems to place a higher importance on successes helping to determine the damage code this would then help carry this through with melee attacks.

Adept Power (Critical Strike): (only 1 Rank Allowable)  This gets CRAZY with unarmed combat damage codes get insane fast.

Power Point Loss
January 2020 errata made this redundant

The rules (currently) make no mention of power point loss.  It mentions Magic loss, but not power point loss.  If this isn't an oversight, it's a significant break from previous editions of Shadowrun.  In our home game, we rule that permanently losing a point of Magic also means losing a power point if the adept/mystic adept's new magic rating is less than their power point total. 

A mystic adept with Magic 4 and 2 power points loses a point of magic: no PP loss.
An adept with Magic 3 , 2 power points, and 3 bonded Force 4 Qi foci: no PP loss.
An adept with Magic 5, 2 levels of initiation, and 7 PP: 1 PP loss.

In chargen, players who want to add augments to their adepts should raise their magic rating to protect their power points from the resulting magic loss.

While I actually like the current Initiative System and Action Economy, I found a few additional tweaks which - in my experience - really helped to make the flow of combat even smoother. Depending on the Content of the Combat Supplement *cough cough*, some of these might become obsolete soon. But alas  ::)

Buying Minor Actions: For 3 points of Edge, you may buy an additional Minor Action (max. 1 per turn)
Saving Up Minor Actions: You may save up to unused 2 Minor Actions into your next combat turn.
Ambushes: In the case of a successfull ambush, the ambushing party begins the first Combat round with 2 additional Minor Actions (basically, as if they had saved 2 Minors from a previous Combat turn)
Minor Action Limit: The Minor Action Limit is 6, not 5. (Possible Errata item BTW. The Limit for Initiative Dice is 5, which adds up to 6 Minor Actions along with 1 free Minor Action.)

Note: These donīt seem like that big of a deal (or even more complicated) on a first glance, but they really help a lot with the Analysis Paralysis you will encounter with certain players: "Hmmmm, if I donīt use my second Attack and instead use a Dodge Action, I still have 3 minor Actions left - how do I spend these most efficiently? Let me think for a moment..."
With the option to save up Minor Actions, even unaugmented Characters have the option to make 3 Attacks over 2 Combat rounds, but only if they arenīt forced to waste Minor Actions on other stuff like Cover and Movement. Meanwhile, Initiative Enhancements are still super valuable (probably even a bit more) because you will rarely find yourself in danger of "wasting" your Minor Actions if you are just 1 short of your second Major Action - you can either safe some up for the next turn or buy the missing Minor Action with Edge.

Oh, and about the Minor Action Limit: Call me a Madman, but I actually ignore this completely at my table. Itīs kinda redundant with the Inititive Dice Limit anyways. Of course, itīs really not when you allow saving up Minor Actions: A character with the maximum 5 Initiative Dice (I know, very common...) could save 2 Minor Actions from a previous Combat Turn (or a successfull ambush) for 3 Attacks in a Combat turn. To which I say: So what? Yes, itīs super strong, but itīs also a massive investment to even get there. Haha Rating 4 Wired Reflexes go Brrrrrrr  8))

A few additional tweaks related to Initiative and Action Economy:

Defensive Actions: Each Defensive Action can only be used once per Combat turn. These are (for now): Avoid Incoming, Hit the Dirt, Block, Dodge, Full Defense.

Note: This are mostly meant to be break the dominance of the Dodge Action. A limit enforces some variety and makes combat against high-Initiative Dodge-Monsters less tiresome.

Avoid Incoming: Not usable against Combat Spells. Can be performed regardless of previous Move or Sprint Actions.

Note: Another source of Analysis Paralysis. I understand that the limitation was introduced to reduce movement cheese, but IMO thatīs already curbed by making the defender go prone after 2 Meters. Speaking of which: 

Stand Up: Requires a Minor Action only if you didnīt drop prone in a controlled and "gracefull" way (i.e. using the Drop Prone Action). Hit the Dirt, Avoid Incoming or getting sweeped of your feet by an opponent means that you have to use a Major Action.

Quick Assessment: A quicker, less accurate version of Observe in Detail, performed as a Minor Action. Yields a rough piece of information about a single character or factor in a Combat situation ("Is the guy next to me armed?", "Can I use these planters for Cover?"). As per GMīs discretion, a Perception Check may or may not be needed.

Michael Chandra:
Ambushers already get the benefit that the defenders cannot do any actions whatsoever. Can't move, can't take cover, can't use Dodge or Full Defense. Don't see why that should be made even worse.

Thatīs a separate issue (but thanks for pointing it out  ;)):

What you mean is the disadvantage for the victims of an ambush that comes with failing a surprise test. Thatīs not what I by "successfull ambush". For that, it would be sufficient to set up the Ambush and donīt get spotted beforehand. Then, the GM may call for a surprise test to check... well, how surprised the individual Ambushees (is that a real word? I like it...  ;D) are. So, a successfull surprise test for the Ambushees would still enable defensive Actions and movement, but wonīt deny the 2 Minor Actions for the Attackers. These are just the logical consequence of allowing to save up 2 Minor Actions between combat rounds: You basically assume that there is one "silent" Combat turn before the Initial Attack from the Attackers saved up 2 Minor Actions.

TBH, I donīt think that the current ambush mechanics are really that drastic: First off, if the defenders pass their surprise tests, they suffer no drawbacks at all. And if they do, they still get their defense tests. Thatīs much tamer than in the previous Editions, where the defense test was omitted entirely (which made Sniping an absolute cakewalk...). Even with a failed surprise test, thereīs a good chance that you canīt even put down the average guardsman in the first combat turn. In 5th Edition, you would have just popped their heads.

Also, many other systems (and from what Iīve seen, some SR houserules/GM handwavings as well) simply count the Initial Attack of the Ambush as a free Action outside of the combat flow - at least for the PCs. Compared to that, 2 Minors for the Ambushers (or: 1/2 of an Attack) is quite tame as well. Sure, it enables two Attacks, but if the ambushers donīt have Initiative Enhancements, going for that second Attack would leave them without Defensive options as well if they donīt manage to incapacitate their targets.  BTW, Take Aim and Move Actions and other "Ambush necessities" are to be used as part of the initial Attack as well.

However: If you really feel that Ambushes are deadly enough, feel free to ignore that one. The main point here is to add some tactical flexibility, mostly by allowing characters to safe up Minor Actions.


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