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[SR5] Rules clarifications

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Galgano

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« on: <01-23-21/1418:56> »
Hoi, I got some questions. These are all probably in the FAQ but I don't know how to find them:

 - Do shapeshifters produce shapeshifter offspring? Like, is it possible for someone to know that the offspring of a critter will be a shapeshifter? Or is it just random?

 - Along that same aspect, I remember reading that magic users are random. As in, 2 "muggles" can have a magician kid. Is that true? Is it more likely that magically inclined parents will produce a magically inclined kid? Or both?

 - You know what? Let's just ask about the whole thing. How does progeny work with regards to the more fantastical elements? Will 2 elves always produce an elf child? Or is there always a chance they'll produce a troll? If a magician has a kid with magical ability, will they also be a magician? Or is it possible for them to be an Adept? Or even a Mystic Adept?

 - The way I understand the Prototype Transhuman quality is that, in order for the character to get the free 1 Essence worth of bioware, the person is basically vat-grown (or something along those lines). Because of that, is it possible for cultured bioware to be used for that quality? Cultured bioware requires a dna sample from the end-user in order to make. Wouldn't that mean that the corporation would have to take a chunk out of the person then shove it back into the character? That would basically negate the whole "growing with the bioware".

 - Can any bioware be cultured bioware? Or is that encroaching too much on bioware grades and it's just some types of bioware that are considered cultured?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #1 on: <01-23-21/1533:00> »
These questions are more in the realm of how do things work in the setting as opposed to being strictly related to a specific edition, but that's ok :)

Hoi, I got some questions. These are all probably in the FAQ but I don't know how to find them:

 - Do shapeshifters produce shapeshifter offspring? Like, is it possible for someone to know that the offspring of a critter will be a shapeshifter? Or is it just random?

Shapeshifters in Shadowrun are not metahumans who can turn into animals... they're animals who can turn into metahumans.  So, basically, the question of what would a wolf shifter and a human's offspring be is originating in the same place as the question of "what would a wolf and human's offspring be".  Basically: non sequitur... those species cannot breed with each other. And frankly, despite what certain matrix porn sites would have you believe, they generally wouldn't WANT to.

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- Along that same aspect, I remember reading that magic users are random. As in, 2 "muggles" can have a magician kid. Is that true? Is it more likely that magically inclined parents will produce a magically inclined kid? Or both?

Well it's not technically random per se, but it may as well be.  It's a matter that is not understood by in-universe geneticists.  Yes, two muggles can have a magically awakened child.  Also, an adult that's apparently a muggle can be revealed later in life to have been a magician all along.

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- You know what? Let's just ask about the whole thing. How does progeny work with regards to the more fantastical elements? Will 2 elves always produce an elf child? Or is there always a chance they'll produce a troll? If a magician has a kid with magical ability, will they also be a magician? Or is it possible for them to be an Adept? Or even a Mystic Adept?

Metatype is not quite random, but neither is it completely understood in-universe either.  Children tend to have the metatype of one of the parents, but not always.  Yes, 2 elves can have a human child.

A few more in-universe "rules" that apply to parents/offspring:

Elves/Dwarves are always apparent that way from birth.  UGE (unexplained genetic expression) is a term from the early 21st century to describe the babies that were very odd looking early/before the onset of the Sixth World.  You are never born with round ears, then later "goblinize" into an Elf or Dwarf.

Orks/Trolls are increasingly common born "true", at least in comparison to the rates observed early on in the Sixth World.  By this I mean orks/trolls that are born that way, rather than being born apparently human then goblinizing at puberty.  Pubescent goblinization is still possible for apparent human children, though.  It's just decreasingly proportionate in comparison to ork/troll from birth, is all.

SURGE: Suddden Unexplained Recessive Genetic Expression is a phenomenon that happened in the 2060s.  This is like goblinization, but was a one-off (maybe?) event that resulted in a wide variety of individual "freakdom" rather than people suddenly turning into a new species like orks/trolls.  IIRC some of the more fantastical meta-subtypes began expressing after this incident as well (4 armed Nartakis, winged and tiny Pixies, etc).  If you want to play a real one-off mutant type, being a SURGEling/SURGE baby is your explanation.

 
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- The way I understand the Prototype Transhuman quality is that, in order for the character to get the free 1 Essence worth of bioware, the person is basically vat-grown (or something along those lines). Because of that, is it possible for cultured bioware to be used for that quality? Cultured bioware requires a dna sample from the end-user in order to make. Wouldn't that mean that the corporation would have to take a chunk out of the person then shove it back into the character? That would basically negate the whole "growing with the bioware".

Ok, this is a 5e rules question.  I'll come back and edit with an answer after reviewing the relevant rule, but off the cuff I'd say it does what it says.  If there's no prohibition against cultured bioware, then there isn't one.

EDIT:
Quote from: Prototype Transhuman "Up" of Ups and downs listed as effect of quality, Chrome Flesh pg. 55
You were
built better than a normal human, so you may pick up
to 1 point of Essence of bioware (not cyberware). While
you must pay the normal cost in nuyen of the bioware
and otherwise follow all character creation rules, you do
not incur any essence cost. So, essentially, you gain up
to 1 point of free Essence to be used exclusively on bioware.
These special organs were genetically grown into
you from your inception—they are as much a natural part
of you as your liver or heart.

Bolded text gives you your answer.  If it's possible in chargen then it's possible in this quality, other than the exception of 1.0 essence cap given.  Ergo: is cultured bioware possible in chargen without this quality? Since the answer is yes: then yes it's also possible as "bonus" bioware here with the quality. Remember to factor chargen availability limits, though, as they are not excepted.

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- Can any bioware be cultured bioware? Or is that encroaching too much on bioware grades and it's just some types of bioware that are considered cultured?

Generally, yes.  However there's a particular wrinkle with used cultured bioware.  I don't recall if it's legal in 5e or not... I believe it was but I'd have to double check.  My opinion: it should be, on the grounds that "used" doesn't necessarily mean it was literally in someone else's body before.  In my view, "used" can still mean something grown brand new and in the case of cultured bioware still specifically for YOU, but manufactured at lower quality than "standard" grade.
« Last Edit: <01-23-21/1557:45> by Stainless Steel Devil Rat »
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Galgano

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« Reply #2 on: <01-23-21/1611:51> »
With regards to the first answer, I know that they are magical critters that can turn into humans. I was more referring to the animals themselves. If two mundane dogs procreate, do they have a chance to produce a shapeshifter? If two shapeshifter dogs procreate, is it more likely for them to produce a shapeshifter child?

Also, I noticed that the initiative column for shapeshifters ranged from +1d6 to +2d6. Does that mean that initiative dice start with 2d6 minimum already (1d6 that everyone gets + 1/2d6 based on shapeshifter type)?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #3 on: <01-23-21/1624:57> »
With regards to the first answer, I know that they are magical critters that can turn into humans. I was more referring to the animals themselves. If two mundane dogs procreate, do they have a chance to produce a shapeshifter? If two shapeshifter dogs procreate, is it more likely for them to produce a shapeshifter child?

I'm not aware of any lore on that specific aspect, nor have I recently reread the relevant chapter(s) in Run Faster.  If your answer isn't therein, I'd just go with what works for your story.

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Also, I noticed that the initiative column for shapeshifters ranged from +1d6 to +2d6. Does that mean that initiative dice start with 2d6 minimum already (1d6 that everyone gets + 1/2d6 based on shapeshifter type)?

When making specific rules questions, page references are appreciated.  I presume you're looking at the table in Run Faster on pg 105?  That looks to me like the INI column is their base dice for initiative.  Many are +1d6 like more conventional playable races (humans, elves, etc) but yes quite a few are +2d6.  No, I don't read that as adding to the +1d6 everyone already gets.  It's in place of.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Reaver

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« Reply #4 on: <01-23-21/1941:48> »
1:
There isn't really an in game explanation to the breeding cycles of shapeshifters. It has never been mentioned if two shapeshifters of the same breed with always produce shapeshifting offspring, or not.
Given how magic doesn't breed "true" through genetics, I would say "no" on first impulse, and say the breeding rate of shapeshifters is more closely related to magic espression, meaning, roughly 5% of offspring would be shapeshifters, and the rest of the time, it a normal animal of the breed.

2:
Magic awakening in shadowrun appears to be totally random, and has (yet) to be linked to any genetic material. Meaning they can't test for it, or "breed true" or even virally induce an awakening.
MANY Corps pumped mega dollars into this type of research in the 2050s and 2060... With AZT going so far as to set up "awakened breeding" camps an matching partners up based on genetic compatibility... And ended up with a statistical wash.. (only about 3% of the children born turned out to be awakened... right in line with the world average for the time.... At least they had some "new" soldiers for the First Yucatan War... )   

3:
Since the awakening of 2011 (dwarves' and elves) and Golbinization of 2021 (Orks and Trolls), things have mostly calmed down... Children generally reflect their parents from birth now. And if born to a mix race parentage, there is a 50% chance to take on the race of the either parent. (so a poop factory born to a Dwarf and Troll couple would be either a Dwarf, or a Troll. There is no such thing a "mixed" meta-races.)
As to being born awakened... that seems to be just a random luck.. 2 awakened parents do not mean an awakened child. The world average as of 5e was roughly 5%. (Up from roughly 3% in the 2060s)

SSDR got the rules questions...

I will add, be very careful with Prototype Transhuman and "used" grade bioware. That won't fly with some GMs. As always, talk to the GM before going down some routes to save yourself a headache :P
Where am I going? And why am I in a hand basket ???

Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Galgano

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« Reply #5 on: <01-27-21/2112:19> »
Thanks for all the help so far. I’m thinking of settling on a shapeshifter as the character I’ll make, but I have a question regarding their initiative dice. Based on the posts around the web on this topic the answer is probably going to end up being “up to the GM” but it would affect how I build my character so I just have to ask to know if there is a more...concrete answer.

Initiative score is calculated as REA + INT + Nd6 where N is the number of base initiative dice plus any extras a character uses to improve their initiative. There are ways to increase N, whether it be through the type of combat, cyber/bioware, magically, drugs, etc. These initiative boosts explicitly say they don’t stack with other forms of initiative enhancement whether they be magically or technologically acquired. This is to avoid people rolling up in a combat with +13d6 worth of initiative to roll. Shapeshifters have an initiative dice range of 1-2 depending on the type. Some have said the shifters with 2d6 initiative counts as a default initiative dice score (because shifters are so bad) because they are an animal type that tends to be more agile and quick in their actions than normal metahumans. Others have said that this 2d6 counts as a magical source of initiative improvement and thus doesn’t stack with other forms of initiative dice increase. This train of thought stems from the idea that they’re dual-natured nature and, as a result, any initiative dice they have are considered magical in nature. So I have to wonder, if their initiative dice are considered a magical source, do the shifters that start with +1d6 have a base initiative dice pool of 0d6? Do only some of the shifters benefit from other forms of initiative increase? Is there somewhere with a more official answer?

Stainless Steel Devil Rat

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« Reply #6 on: <01-27-21/2122:20> »
Let me try putting this another way.

Critters do not, by default, have +1d6 for initiative.  This is a divergence from the rules for metahumans/most playable races.

For example, look at the Wolf (pg. 403, SR5).  It's initiative is listed as +2d6.  In no world does that mean you add +2d6 to a base of +1d6 for a total of 3 dice.

Where a shifter says +2d6, that's it.  It says what it says.  REA + INT + 2d6.  That's before cyberware or spells or such, which can still add to it in the same way that it would have added to +1d6 for a troll or elf or human.
RPG mechanics exist to give structure and consistency to the game world, true, but at the end of the day, you’re fighting dragons with algebra and random number generators.

Reaver

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« Reply #7 on: <01-28-21/0056:46> »
From my quick look a few years ago, most of the shapeshifters that had 2d6+ were animals that also had an increased dice pool. So from my reasoning, that was it.

As to why some critters get bonus dice and others do not, well that seemed to depend on the size and type of animal, with smaller animals having an increase, as well as those that were traditional predator species..

To further throw some oil into the fire, I have also heard the argument that the bonus dice to initiative only apply when in their natural (IE animal) form. And when assuming their metahuman form, they lose those bonus dice, as they are no longer physically that animal...



Starting to see why most GMs just flat out say "No" to shifter characters? -They just introduce too many arguments. :(
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Remember: You can't fix Stupid. But you can beat on it with a 2x4 until it smartens up! Or dies.

Xenon

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« Reply #8 on: <01-28-21/0924:04> »
I was more referring to the animals themselves. If two mundane dogs procreate, do they have a chance to produce a shapeshifter? If two shapeshifter dogs procreate, is it more likely for them to produce a shapeshifter child?
Doesn't seem to matter if both parents are mundane, if one parent is shapeshifter while the other is mundane or if both are shapeshifters.

Run Faster p. 100 Shapeshifters
Unsurprisingly, as shifters can breed with and originate from the same species, genetics tests reveal very little difference between the base animals and their shapeshifter kin.



I have a question regarding their initiative dice.
the initiative column for shapeshifters ranged from +1d6 to +2d6.
The listed initiative dice is when in their original animal form.
When in metahuman form they have Reaction + Intuition + 1D6

Run Faster p. 102 Creating a Shapeshifter
The attributes listed in the table are for the natural animal form. To determine their metahuman attributes, the player must simply note how many attribute points were put into each attribute, and those are applied to the base metahuman attributes as well.


Does that mean that initiative dice start with 2d6 minimum already (1d6 that everyone gets + 1/2d6 based on shapeshifter type)?
If it say +1d6 then they have 1 initiative dice. If it say +2D6 then they have 2 initiative dice.
When they transform into metahuman form they have a base initiative of +1d6 (1 initiative dice).